[ilds] Genesis of the Quartet

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 28 09:32:14 PDT 2008

No need to wait for the next issue of Deus Loci.  Re from 1 to 4, Michael Haag in Alexandria:  City of Memory (London & Cairo, 2004) gives his proof of how Durrell came to conceive the Quartet (pp. 320ff).  Durrell would later claim that he had initially "planned four books," but "this was untrue," as Haag states and demonstrates (p. 326).  QED.  Claude Vincendon's intervention was both fortuitous and crucial -- and another great story, as Haag tells it, in a book full of great stories.


-----Original Message-----
>From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>Sent: Apr 27, 2008 12:02 PM
>To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: Ambron Villa and Quartet
>Re the genesis of the Quartet, from single novel to tetralogy, Michael Haag has pretty much solved that problem in great detail, at least to my satisfaction, if not to others.  Haag delivered his argument at the last meeting of OMG meeting in Victoria, 2006.  That talk should appear as an essay in a forthcoming issue of Deus Loci, although I have no idea when that will be.  Since my memory about such things is rather faulty, I shall not attempt to summarize Haag's argument, except to provide the following tidbit, which I hope is accurate enough.  Durrell originally conceived of Justine as a single novel, but after he met and hooked up with Claude Vincendon on Cyprus, she, a native Alexandrian, proved him with enough new material to expand one novel into four.  So, you might say, the "heightened emotional involvement of the reader" parallels the same involvement of the author as he discovers himself or, at least, his excitement over the discovery of a long, unfolding project.
>-----Original Message-----
>>From: PETER BALDWIN <delospeter at hotmail.com>
>>Sent: Apr 27, 2008 9:45 AM
>>To: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>, Durrell list <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
>>Subject: Re: [ilds] One-Volume Alexandria Quartet
>>The single volume ed of the Q which Fabers put out in 1986 as a reprint had Gentleman's watercolour of D's writing Tower at the Villa Ambron on the cover. Has the villa now been demolished?
>>I am trying to work out the chronology of Justine's ceasing to be the single novel originally planned and becoming the first of the Quartet because to read J as a single stand - alone novel published without the anticipation of the next three heightens, I think, the readers emotional engagement
>>I can't find a date in Brewster Chamberlin's Chronology for the delivery of the ts. to fabers, nor indeed a date for publication
>>In D - M Letters we have D in c1/56 [ p 279 ] making no ref to a series tho by late '57 he envisages 'three more cuttings'

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