[ilds] Genesis of the Quartet

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Fri May 2 13:28:37 PDT 2008

On 5/2/2008 2:29 PM, James Gifford wrote:
> Charles, I'm guessing here, but would you like to have each of the four 
> volumes *and* /The Alexandria Quartet/ in addition?  Hmmm.
Yes, you got me, Jamie.  I like reading /Justine /&c. the separately 
issued volumes because they physically recall the experience of reading 
Durrell's notebooks--with all sorts of other documents and "data" packed 
away inside them--or even because reading the separate volumes 
highlights the way I have to shuttle back and forth between distinct 
documents, moving along with Darley as he sits at his table sorting 
things out.

But I also respect Durrell's decision later to collect the books into 
one corporate or omnibus volume.  That shows that Durrell and/or Faber 
was hoping the book would be seen as a hefty and elaborately contrived  
modernist "project," post-Joyce &c.  That is not the Durrell I prefer, 
but it is an important aspect of Durrell.

And Peter:  Don't worry about slowing down.  I hardly ever read /Justine 
/straight through anymore.  I really enjoy dipping out the choice 
morsels, savoring smaller bits and digesting them as needed.  What a book!


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

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