[ilds] the review itself

william godshalk godshawl at email.uc.edu
Fri Sep 5 14:07:03 PDT 2008

Charlie likes to remind us that "reading" is much 
more than running our eyes down a page of type. 
And you will remind me that in reading we do not 
simply run our eyes down a page of type. For one 
thing, our eyes are moving more quickly than our 
brains can make sense of the information received 
from the eyes. But to the point ---

As some of you know I started reading Justine on 
a snowy winter night on Cape Cod. I had come down 
for the weekend and had no books with me. But the 
cabin in which I was staying had a copy of 
Justine. I read about fifty pages and was 
enchanted. I loved picking up the allusions to 
Eliot. I had not finished  Justine before 
returning to Boston, so I took the book with me. 
Yes, I purloined it. And indeed I still have the 
book, the paperback Cardinal Edition. I've 
underlined and written in it. I did not steal the other volumes. I bought them.

On pages 9-10 of this edition of Justine, the 
paragraph beginning "Six o'clock , , , " and 
ending 'Only the obstinate memory of this smile 
is to make me doubt it in the days to come" does 
not refer to Melissa, and indeed I have written 
Justine beside "her." In later editions Durrell refers directly to Melissa.

I do not approve of this change. I want my ambiguity back.


At 04:00 PM 9/5/2008, you wrote:
>Thanks to all for posting with different views on the new Folio
>_Justine_.   Its appearance is an event worth attending.  And Durrell
>would not mind the merchandising at all, I think.  Roofs and plumbing
>tend to go out and cost us money, here in Tennessee and there in
>Sommières.   Long may the old fellow--or at least his
>I have always thought that the bibliographic form of _Justine_ is
>essential to the experience of understanding and enjoying _Justine_.
>The book is more than written words.  I can mark out how my reading of
>_Justine_ in the Faber 1957 printing distinguishes itself.  With its
>distinctive, diamond-cut, kite-flying and scimitar-curved Centaur
>typeface, the 1957 setting still remains for me the dominant and
>(personally) preferred manner for reading the book.  I am always thrown
>back into nostalgia when I try to read _Justine_ collected within the
>1962 omnibus.  I miss the Centaur type, and I miss the enforced jumps
>back and forth between _Justine_ and her sibling volumes.   One should
>really have to labor a bit when cross-referencing.
>That said, I know that Bill has a lasting fondness for his old
>paper-covered editions. . . .
>So what I would like to ask:  Could any of you lucky folk share the
>particulars of your impression of reading _Justine_ in the Folio
>printing?  What does this 2008 printing bring to the surface?
>For the record:  I have always disliked the production of the signed
>Franklin Mint printings.  I am away from my books--still in boxes after
>the move--but if I recall accurately the divisions between the episodes
>of the novel (******) were left out.  Those stars or asterisks seem so
>intrinsic to me, especially since Durrell used them to divide moments
>jotted and drafted into his notebooks and typescripts.   To have them
>replicated in the production is part of the Quartet's special magic.  In
>my fancy it makes me feel as if I had Darley's--or Durrell's--notebooks
>through which to puzzle.
>I will be waiting to hear more news--
>ILDS mailing list
>ILDS at lists.uvic.ca

W. L. Godshalk		*
Department of English         *
University of Cincinnati            Stellar disorder  *
Cincinnati OH 45221-0069      *

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