[ilds] words written and read and shared

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Sat May 3 16:46:27 PDT 2008

On 5/3/2008 7:05 PM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
> Sorry, Bill, but I'm just dense.  I don't understand what you're saying or the point you're trying to make, which you don't elaborate on.  I will, however, make a wild guess loosely based on Saussure's formulation.  
I will not speak for Bill.  But I have no need of any other source 
beyond Lawrence Durrell and his Pursewarden for noting the severe 
skepticism about language and meaning that run through the /Quartet/.  
Cf. especially the posthumous reports on Pursewarden in /Balthazar 
/regarding Pursewarden's letting the read "sink or skim" or throwing the 
reader back upon his resources. 

Why trot out Guy Fawkeses or bug-bears or Aunt Sally's like Saussure or 
Barthes &c.?  No need to throw sand, I think.  Surely Durrell's works 
provide ample evidence for us all to weigh and to consider 
and--yes--about which to disagree.

While at the library the other night I thought again of what you said 
about the poet Lawrence Durrell and the poet John Keats, Bruce, and I 
thank you for drawing my thoughts toward those two. In his essay in /The 
Windmill /from the 1940s Durrell writes the following:

> "Each great man builds a cocoon out his work which finally swallows 
> not only his life but also his death.  Could Homer be anything but 
> delighted to see Schliemann dig up his Iliad bodily out of the 
> ground?  I have hunted through every museum in Greece looking for 
> Keats' Grecian Urn."
By the way, in this same essay, Durrell--or whichever persona utters 
these gnomic "Significant Data"-like fragments--recalls another persona 
("V.") as saying "All poetry partakes of the epitaph."  Mighty food for 
thought in that line.

Does anyone know if "V." refers to a particular or to an imagined someone?


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

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