[ilds] Durrell the pragmatic

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Wed May 7 03:14:36 PDT 2008

We spoke and wrote earlier of Durrell the pragmatic writer. Here he is in his own words

"When I leave here (Cyprus) I'm going to live in the south of France, where the cigarettes are a shilling a packet and wine is sixpence a bottle, and I've got enough in the kitty to live for a year like that, by the end of which I shall have written a book that will really sell....I'm going to write high-brow pornography and they'll swallow it."

here we see the writer serving his loves or addictions and writing what he thinks sells. Enter Justine and the quartet. Of course there is more to LD than that - the soul behind the story, the craftsman at work and all that, but it is refreshing to see the practical behind the art.

The writer Gowan McGland in the film Reuben Reuben says, in response to the idea of literary prostitution, "personally, I can't wait to sell out!"

With a couple of exceptions, I dont think LD sold out, but he certainly liked the idea of writing to sell, rather than as a complete self indulgence.

I think writing was hard work for LD because, in many ways, he preferred to do other things.

We have just had the Australian Writer Tim Winton talking about his own heraldic universe; the creations of characters and themes and landscape that are extensions of the writer, drawn from his experience, familiar and yet clearly a kind of parallel 'other' world, nearly our own, but not quite. There is a remarkable other reality to Durrell, an alternative and yet believable world, maybe a real world, but one is never quite sure - clever chap, LD


Denise Tart & David Green
16 William Street, Marrickville NSW 2204

+61 2 9564 6165
0412 707 625
dtart at bigpond.net.au
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