[ilds] the great duck shoot

william godshalk godshawl at email.uc.edu
Fri Jun 15 10:21:33 PDT 2007


We have mentioned the duck shoot briefly -- and then the ducks done 
disappeared. Am I wrong in believing that most Durrellians think the 
shoot is the climax of the novel? Or if not the climax, then one of 
the most important parts of the novel?

But why is it important? A duck shoot is fairly common in rural 
areas. Blinds, shotguns, dogs (no Egyptians) as retrievers, small 
boats. So what's so important about Nessim's event?

It turns out not to be a setup to kill his wife's lover (DaCapo or 
Darley). It is, apparently, a cover for DaCapo and Justine to flee 
the country. But the faked death of DaCapo is poorly managed: the 
body has been in the water too long, and the dead man has false teeth 
(which DaCapo does not). Bunglers? The gang that couldn't shoot straight?

And Justine could have left the country in various ways. King Farouk, 
undoubtedly, would have taken her to Palestine on his private cruiser 
-- at a price, of course. Wicked Farouk was big news back in my 
youth. "... It was well known that the King was a frequent guest at 
Nessim's table" (p. 172).
***************************************
W. L. Godshalk		*
Department of English         *
University of Cincinnati            Stellar disorder  *
Cincinnati OH 45221-0069      *
513-281-5927
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