[ilds] Sweetness and darkness

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 30 11:56:18 PDT 2008

1.  Pursewarden commits suicide, so does Piers.  Durrell kills himself with alcohol.

2.  Why would Durrell/Pursewarden be interested in his posthumous press?  Isn't this the height of conceit?

3.  Durrell holds an interview and says he slaps himself in the mirror every morning and tells himself he's just a worthless shit making a living.  In the Quartet and "Loeb's Horace," he (i.e., Durrell/Pursewarden) displays an ego big enough to take on and beat the likes of Keats, Milton, Horace, and any other writer who might threaten his supremacy of "fine writing." (After all, this is the man dubbed by Miller the next Shakespeare.)  At times LD acts like Hemingway -- both make claims, direct or indirect, to boxing champion of the world of belles-lettres.

4.  Durrell is the poet of blue water and Greek light, but he also finds darkness in that "dark crystal" of Prospero's Cell.  Nancy Myers, wife #1, did not take kindly to her portrayal in PC.

So, which Durrell do you prefer?  He's not all sweetness and light.


-----Original Message-----
>From: slighcl <slighcl at wfu.edu>
>Sent: Apr 30, 2008 10:41 AM
>To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: Re: [ilds] the occasional angel & the ladder of alcohol
>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--

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