[ilds] On Flops

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Sun Oct 28 13:05:27 PDT 2007


Bill, you ask a fair and serious question.  So here are the five stories I liked and found interesting and amusing:

"Something a la Carte"
"White Man's Milk"
"High Barbary"
"All to Scale"
"Smoke, the Embassy Cat."

I don't like the others for the reasons previously given.  I'll not, however, explain why I found those stories "forced and contrived" because that would require rereading all of Antrobus, which I'm not inclined to do.  I don't think the effort worthwhile, so I rely on my first impression.  Which is essentially that Durrell tried to hard to be funny and the effort shows -- which I also take as a truism about Durrell's oeuvre, that is, his writing succeeds best when he's not so self-conscious of himself as writer and prophet.  I agree with James Gifford, if I got him right, that the funniest thing about the Antrobus stories is Antrobus himself.  His humor, unfortunately, usually falls flat, for me anyway.


Bruce



-----Original Message-----
>From: william godshalk <godshawl at email.uc.edu>
>Sent: Oct 28, 2007 11:32 AM
>To: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>, ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: Re: [ilds] On Flops
>
>All generalizations are flops -- including this one.
>
>Could we get a list of Durrell's five humorous stories? Second, could 
>we have at least a brief analysis of their humor? And could we have 
>an example of the forced and contrived in Durrell's Antrobus stories?
>
>  "Contrived" by the way means "ingeniously or artfully devised or 
>planned." It's not so bad to contrive a story.
>
>Bill
>***************************************
>W. L. Godshalk		*
>Department of English         *
>University of Cincinnati            Stellar disorder  *
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