[ilds] wine, writers and work

Carrie carrie.t at virgin.net
Tue Apr 29 12:52:49 PDT 2008

I recently joined the ILDS mailing list, and immediately realized I  
had made a mistake, not being a scholarly sort myself.  I am drowning  
in all that I read, trying to find the Lawrence Durrell I knew for 25  
years.  I had, in the first instance, been hoping to know more about  
Larry's work of course, but I hadn't realized that the contributions  
were to be an exercise in carefully combing through the minutiae of  
every word.  This isn't a criticism, rather an observation.  I  
wouldn't be up to the standards necessary to engage in your literary  
forum, and I guess by now you are all relieved to know that.

However, I would like to say that David Green's contribution is one  
ILDS mailing list offering that I feel Larry would have enjoyed.  I  
think Larry would say that David Green has hit the nail on its head.   
Larry was not Gerry, he did like a simple life, complete with the few  
luxuries he enjoyed.  I'm not being hard on Gerry, but he did not  
embrace the simple life, anything but.

My connection with Larry is my mother, Shirley, who married Larry's  
good friend, and archivist, my stepfather Alan Thomas.  It was through  
my mother and Alan that I got to know and spend time with Larry.  It  
was an uncomplicated relationship, which set it apart from most of  
Larry's relationships, especially with women.  Larry, as DG suggests,  
loved women, but I think it's fair to say he was hard on them, with  
few exceptions.  Claude was Larry's soul mate, had she not died  
prematurely they would almost certainly have stayed together.  Larry  
would appreciate DG's apt perception, though he might not entirely  

I also wondered what, if anything, any of you thought of Larry's  
artwork.  I refer to his paintings and drawings, which were exhibited  
under his pseudonym Oscar Epps.  Larry loved to paint, and I was  
concerned when presenting the L Durrell archives to the British  
Library that they were surprised to receive Larry's paintings, having  
not realized that he was an artist as well as an author.  I felt quite  
sad after handing the portfolio over wondering how these paintings  
would be treated in terms of access by interested readers/scholars.  I  
felt there was a lack of interest to the extent that their disinterest  
was apparent.  Quite sad really!


On 29 Apr 2008, at 07:57, Denise Tart & David Green wrote:

> Charles is being very kind when he says Durrell had an "eloquent  
> gift for elaboration."  Not for nothing did he make a very good  
> press officer, a spinmeister.
> It says on the back of my Durrell Biography that "wine and sun  
> inspired him" - and perhaps women too, amonst other interests.  
> Writing may have served these interests, rather than the other way  
> around, in which case elaborating and spinning out a theme over 4  
> volumes instead of one pays for a lot of drinks, time in the sun and  
> holidays with convivial wenches - as well as more erudite  
> activities. I have come across several references in Durrell's own  
> words to his pragmatism towards his writing. Durrell was raised as a  
> colonial gentlemen. To live even vaguely like that - and we know  
> that on one level Durrell embraced the 'simple life' - one needs  
> money!
> DG
> Denise Tart
> Civil Celebrant - A8807
> 16 William Street
> Marrickville NSW  2204
> +61 2 9564 6165
> 0412 707 625
> dtart at bigpond.net.au
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds

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