[ilds] the genuine Durrell voice, what is it?

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 13 11:03:08 PDT 2007

Bill, yes, you're right, I want to put Durrell on the couch.  We're back to the old argument about authorial intentions, which I believe it's worthwhile and even possible, in some limited way, to understand.  This is what I find most interesting.  I see Michael Haag working in this direction, but I'll let him speak for himself.


-----Original Message-----
>From: william godshalk <godshawl at email.uc.edu>
>Sent: Jun 13, 2007 10:53 AM
>To: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>Subject: Re: the genuine Durrell voice, what is it?
>At 01:37 PM 6/13/2007, you wrote:
>Bill, I would not defineauthorial "voice" in this way.  Voice is word choice,diction, but much more than that.  It is the distinctive personalitybehind the diction.  Rather than list words such as phthisic,usufruct, desuetude, exiguous, palimpsest, uxorious, simulacrum,muniments, and the hundreds like these, usually Greek or Latinate, Iwould ask what kind of personality enjoys this kind of vocabulary? What is he or she trying to achieve, aside from a love of exotic words,such as Poe also had?
>But as you amply point out, word usage is a good part of style or"voice." But when it comes to the kind of personality thatenjoys using this vocabulary [note that I'm appropriating your wordshere], how can we tell? D no longer exists, so we can't get him on thecouch for the fifty minute hour. Perhaps D was insecure and wanted toparade his vocabulary as a way of authenticating his writing. Look, Iuse words that you have to look up. 
>Of course, even if we got D on the couch, we would only get wordsfrom him. We would then have to interpret those words -- just as weinterpret words on the page or screen.
>W. L.Godshalk          *
>Department ofEnglish         *
>University ofCincinnati           Stellar disorder  *
>Cincinnati OH 45221-0069      *

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