[ilds] One-Volume Alexandria Quartet

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 25 12:26:37 PDT 2008

James sums it up neatly.  I have the Faber omnibus edition (1962) and have never seen the Dutton version of same.  I'm not a textualist, but I have noted small differences and variants (but no radical changes, so far) in the early editions and the 1962, which I've been told is authoritative.  So, anyone doing scholarship should use that edition and avoid being chastised for sloppiness, unprofessionalism, or worse.

I'm struck by recent comments on the tactile aspects of the Quartet, i.e., how first readings got imprinted, indelibly, onto readers' imaginations and how this turned into unnatural attachments to physical objects, i.e., the book themselves.  I had the same experience.  I wonder if reading Durrell is a perversion of some kind, to which the youth of a prior age were particularly susceptible.  Dr. Anthony Durrell probably has professional observations on this topic.  Charles gave a very good talk on this aspect of reading the Quartet at the conference in Victoria -- the physicality of the Quartet, that is, not its incitement to perversity.  I hope he publishes it somewhere, preferably in the proceedings.  Charles?


-----Original Message-----
>From: James Gifford <odos.fanourios at gmail.com>
>Sent: Apr 25, 2008 9:01 AM
>To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: Re: [ilds] One-Volume Alexandria Quartet
>Hi Phillip,
>I think you can treat the /Dutton/ one volume as quite a find!  Bruce 
>and Charles appear to be the only ones among us with copies...  I think 
>it's identical to the Faber omnibus edition, except the front pages are 
>reversed.  Bruce?  Charles?
>As for who to talk to about the changes, Charles did the pioneering work 
>on that.  Beatrice Skodili has discussed them as well, in her recent 
>dissertation, though her interests were not bibliographical.
>There was some discussion of the matter on the list under the Justine 
>Reading Group heading (see the archives with the [RG] markings):
>Alas, I'm afraid a bibliographical comparison of the editions in full 
>does not yet exist in print.  In general, the changes are fairly 
>significant, but they're spread around throughout the books.  My 
>favourite to point out, perhaps mainly because I teach /Justine/, is the 
>ending of the novel, the last sentence, the asterisk, and the moved 
>objects in the preceding paragraph, etc...
>The changes from the proofs through to the first edition, its various 
>corrections, and then the omnibus are quite fascinating.  My tendency is 
>to read them as emphasizing the thematic as well as the aesthetic aims 
>of the book.
>Philip Walsh wrote:
>> Some while ago, I picked up a copy of the Dutton one-volume Quartet, but 
>> I only looked at it recently.
>> In an author's note, Durrell speaks of using the republication to make 
>> some changes and speaks of removing sections from the novels and adding 
>> some.  Can anyone tell me just how extensive the changes are?  Which 
>> sections are cut, and which added?
>> Thanks for any information.
>> Philip Walsh
>> Ottawa, Canada

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