[ilds] baboonism

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Sat Jul 7 05:37:06 PDT 2007

On 7/7/2007 12:32 AM, Vittorio Celentano wrote:

>Pamela and others:
>Lawrence Durrell is listed as a postmodern author in
>             http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodern_literature
Yet Durrell has been rejected (quite soundly and at length) as not 
having been sufficiently postmodern.  There are those who would police 
membership in this (now-dated) late twentieth century club:

        Postmodernist theory rejects the nostalgic longing for unity and
        welcomes radical plurality as a challenge, an opening towards
        the future, not as a loss but a gain in perspective. . . .  It
        is this plural notion of alterity and difference which Durrell's
        writings and their gnostic world view ultimately foreclose.  In
        Durrell, the freedom 'promised' within the process of
        pluralization is always taken back.  Instead, it invokes a
        notion of the entirely Other as the mystical 'one' which negates
        the difference (Herbrechter--_Lawrence Durrell, Postmodernism,
        and the Ethics of Alterity_ 164)

When criticism follows that sort of political program and 
rigidly-defined pattern, the whole business becomes quite easy, doesn't 

I will translate what is written above, some of which may be 
untranslatable:   This is _____.  Durrell is not _______.  Durrell 
"forecloses."  Durrell "takes back."  Durrell "negates."    The pm 
critics expose Durrell as a crypto-modernist, and all good pm critics 
know that the modernists were fascists.  That is why pm critics use 
police language to disguise their own policing.

These days I think it safer and smarter to leave those old terms behind, 
back in the 1990s.  Look more closely.  Then look again.   
Discrimination, in the Paterian sense, is needed.  And then more laughter.


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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