William Apt billyapt at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 18 09:39:33 PDT 2008

Likely due to my absence of a classical education, I cannot figure out the meaning of the passage from Ovid that Durrell quotes on, I believe, page 64 of the 1996 Marlowe edition of Prospero's Cell.  Can you tell me what it means?
Austin, Texas
> Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 09:54:00 -0600> From: odos.fanourios at gmail.com> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca> Subject: [ilds] Mass Observation> > Hello all,> > I've stumbled rather accidentally into some Durrelliana in the archives > of Mass Observation held at the University of Sussex. For those who've > not run into Mass Observation before, it's great fun and includes many > folks familiar to Durrell scholars (David Gascoyne in particular). > Typos are original.> > I like the first since I think we can almost see the tongue planted > exceptionally firmly in someone's cheek (perhaps the interviewer's...), > but the second file report on books is quite interesting and probably > the only access we have to the 'common' reader of Durrell's /The Black > Book/.> > Enjoy!> James> > -------------------------------------> > from /Women in Pubs/ file report 1661> > M40D "Of course women can't hold it like a man and a> drunken woman isnot a pleasant sight ....> (Durrell)> > F55C "... Sometimes when they come in alone, they> don't go out alone, but who am I to> criticise". (Durrell)> > > from /Books and the Public/ file report 1332> > (v) "I started to read book called "Ishtar'. It's not very good> but I was very vague as to who Ishtar was - apparently the> Babylonian goddess of love, war and feritility. Persepone,> Artemis and Freya all in one. Normally Iwould not have> bothered with it but a remark in Durrell's 'Black Book' had> set me wondering about Ishtar, vis - 'From music we demand> our whole life if it is to move us; every modulation of dream,> despair, love yearning. It is the past and the future going> down into the tomb; the descent of Ishtar among the soiled> roses; the entry into the chamber of the Cosmos; the first> kicking in the womb and the last elegant spasm of cessation,> lull, status'. Ishtar by E.S. Stevens is badly written and> rater trite, but quite interesting. I like stories about> 'digs' and I am rather interested in Baghdad though I know very> little about that part of the world." (Housewife)> > [about this last one, I wonder what housewife was reading /The Black > Book/ in July 1942 when this file was compiled, especially enough to > quote from memory! There are two highly akin references in /The Black > Book/, though the 'housewife' is clearly referring to the second:> > "I am reminded of Ishtar going down every year into the territories > underground, the atmosphere of dust and ashes and silence; and the slow > vegetative revival of life, the corn springing from the navel of Osiris. > The rain dazzling on the enormous eyelashes of April. The English > Seasons, so nostalgic in death, cherishing their decay in heavy loam and > delicate rain! It is something unknown. Spring under the ledge of the > Ionian weather, that is the image which has swallowed the cottage, the > April, the drizzle among the corn; your letter reminds me of the sea > among the islands, played out, sluggish, inert like a heavy blue syrup. > And here? Dust on the window frames, dust on our hands, our eyebrows, > and the racket of machines."> > and> > "I am standing at the window watching the storm gather. The lightning is > so smooth and trembling that it lights the room with a queer sustained > glint of green, as it might be an aquarium, and I standing here, on the > carpet of weeds and slimy rock, waiting. I am thinking of Tarquin's > music, and realizing that of all this fear and turmoil it has recorded > nothing. From music we demand our whole life if it is to move us: every > modulation of dream, despair, love, yearning. It is the past and the > future, the first rapture of living, and that future going down into the > tomb; the descent of Ishtar among the soiled roses; the entry into the > chamber of the cosmos; the first kicking in the womb, and the last > elegant spasm of cessation, lull, status."> _______________________________________________> ILDS mailing list> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
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