[ilds] the occasional angel & the ladder of alcohol

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Wed Apr 30 10:41:48 PDT 2008

On 4/29/2008 12:16 PM, Vittorio Celentano wrote:
> Yorick reminds me of one episode (Top Billing) in the tv series "Tales 
> from the Crypt"
> Vittorio
I don't know that series, Vittorio.  Feel free to explain.

I had Pursewarden in mind as a Yorick figure because Pursewarden is 
profoundly posthumous.  Even when Pursewarden is alive, the other 
characters discuss him as if he has already become a name and not a 

And then once Pursewarden heads off to the undiscovered country Darley 
and the rest of the living are left to puzzle out who he was, what he 
did, and what it meant.  And their answers are ultimately insufficient, 
as are our own efforts.

That is curious and most ghostly, I think.  Durrell imagining 
Pursewarden in 1957 - 1960 is able to imagine some aspect of his own 
posthumous moment 1990. 

The Yorick figure also works because Durrell's idea of a writer is very 
much shaped by his idea of Shakespeare, the Man of Letters--Shakespeare 
whose works eclipse the small bits of knowledge that we can glean about 
his life.

I will let Bill talk more about any of this once he wakes from his 
afternoon nap.

Puzzling on--


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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