[ilds] Police, puritans and changing times

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Sat Dec 8 22:06:33 PST 2007

unless a writer is lucky enough to make into the eternal canon; the hall of fame where Homer, Tacitus, chaucer, shakespeare, Byron, Keats, Austin and Charles Bukowski reside, pallid figures in their gilt frames, writers have a tendency to 'have their moment'.

Old Hem was the man. Now he is past and gone. He spoke for a certain sort of person who knew the 1914 - 1950 period. Durrell found his moment as the western intellectuals opened flower like after the carnage and shortages of great WW2. Durrell found his generation in the 60's. Justine went down like the new drugs and the new freedoms. Outriders were in. I was born in 1959 and I remember adults at dinner parties talking about Durrell and the Quartet. I still have my mother's 4 volume Faber set.

Since the 1990s a new puritanism has flooded into the west. It's all about being worthy, picking up some cause or issue; green, the environment, being thin, drinking water all the time or making some carefully (or not) disguised statement about urban poverty or slum clearance or gender politics, save the whale; all that............

..........so Durrell does not fit, does he. Hmmm Lawrence Durrell. what does he write about; sex, lesbianism, greek islands, obscure post colonial types, homesexuals, odd diplomats, more greek islands, coptic sects, weird vaguely aristoctatic characters, France - all the people and places puritans hate really. A self indulgent, alcoholic, womanizing, apolitical, sexist wanker who will certainly not be studied in this university funded by the "all the way with George Bush neo con Government of John Winston Howard (former prime minister of Terra Australis)

Durrell should not make himself more relevant. the public should make itself more Durrell.


Denise Tart & David Green
16 William Street, Marrickville NSW 2204

+61 2 9564 6165
0412 707 625
dtart at bigpond.net.au
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