[ilds] fat and florid novels

James Gifford gifford at uvic.ca
Thu Aug 9 10:38:26 PDT 2007


Kevin uses references to Durrell repeatedly in his first travel book,
_The Water In Between_ -- should be cheap to pick up, and it's a good
read.  Real nice writing and perfect for a summer afternoon.  The
sequel sounds promising.  I jotted down the Durrell references &
allusions somewhere.  And, for those of you who came to Victoria, if
you took the ferry from Vancouver, you were practically in shouting
distance...

There's something of a minor following for Durrell among Canadian
authors, for some reason, and allusions, references, or epigrams pop
up more than one would expect.  There's something to be written about
that.

I suspect there's a smattering of Mordecai Richler's _Solomon Gusky
Was Here_ in Patterson's latest book too, but that's just a hunch.
Richler smacks of Durrell several times too: try _Cocksure_ along side
_Revolt of Aphrodite_.

Cheers,
James
a.k.a. Northern Ministry

On 09/08/07, slighcl <slighcl at wfu.edu> wrote:
> See below for another nod-and-shrink acknowledgment of Durrell.  It really
> is a curious pattern to trace.
>
> Query:  What is wrong with "fat and florid" novels?
>
> Second Query: Must young writers really write to the norm and to the
> standard of "lean and chaste"?
>
> Surely we readers are more catholic in taste than that.
>
> Perhaps our Northern Ministry can provide us with additional information.
>
> Charles
>
> ***
>
> http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2007-08-08-new-voices_N.htm
>
> New voices: Kevin Patterson
> By Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY
> Here's the scoop on Consumption author Kevin Patterson:
>
> The book
>
> •Consumption(Doubleday/Talese, $25)
>
> •What it's about: A debut novel about the clash of cultures in the Canadian
> Arctic featuring an Inuit woman who had tuberculosis as a child and a doctor
> from New York who is out to escape his past.
>
> •Why it's notable: Critics raved when it was first published in Canada last
> year, noting Patterson's firsthand experiences as a doctor in the Arctic.
>
> •Memorable line: "Storms are sex. They exist alongside and are indifferent
> to words and description and dissection."
>
> The author
>
> •Quick bio: Patterson, 42, grew up in Manitoba and attended medical school
> under the sponsorship of the Canadian Army.
>
> •Quote: "Medicine and writing are natural companions. … They both revolve
> around narrative — interpreting and teasing apart stories."
>
> •Fun fact: Patterson lived on his boat until he sailed into Salt-spring
> Island, "a firred and rocky outcrop" between Vancouver and the Canadian
> mainland he now calls home.
>
> •Literary influences: "Mark Helprin and Lawrence Durrell, both of whom write
> fat and florid novels that appall me now but opened my eyes to the power of
> fiction when I was in my 20s."



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