[ilds] Balthazar as palimpsest

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 13 10:52:56 PDT 2007


Interesting.  I standby Balthazar.  With the second novel in the Quartet, I think Durrell realized he was onto something big and definitive and was then full of the energy necessary for that great project.  Would we like Justine as much if it weren't for the other three novels that followed?  I doubt it.  It's easy to like the first bloom of anything.  Many prefer Wordsworth's 1799 Prelude for that very reason.  I don't.

Bruce

-----Original Message-----
>From: James Gifford <odos.fanourios at gmail.com>
>Sent: Jun 12, 2007 1:58 PM
>To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: Re: [ilds] palimpsest
>
>Two points for Bruce:
>
>> (Balthazar, by the way, has always been my favorite
>> novel in the Quartet, perhaps for this very aspect,
>> along with the introduction of Pursewarden's suicide.)
>
>Just as an aside, I'm editing Henry Miller & Herbert Read's correspondence
>just now, and Read takes the opposite stance.  He describes the Quartet as
>they only kind of fiction he can bear reading anymore, but thinks Durrell
>made a mistake by revising Justine in Balthazar.  He clearly considered
>Justine the superior novel.  I would have greatly disagreed with that the
>first few times I read the Quartet, but now I wonder...
>


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