[ilds] new article

csligh Charles-Sligh at utc.edu
Mon Oct 13 10:56:12 PDT 2008


Congrats to Bruce on this accomplishment. I was made happy and proud to 
see the treatment when it arrived here in Chattanooga. Many thanks!

I will also note that Peter Porter addresses the Horace poem in his 
intro comments to the new Folio /Justine/. I will excerpt here below 
some of the relevant text from the TLS printing for pondering.

Charles

****
*
 From The Times Literary Supplement
August 27, 2008
Lawrence Durrell in the ambiguous white metropolis
The poetry and music of the Alexandria Quartet
Peter Porter *
> “On First Looking into Loeb’s Horace” is a pointer to the novels in 
> another way. Poems and novels make uncertain allies if only because 
> both like to tell stories. But the poet in Durrell is never far away 
> in his fiction. The Loeb poem is a masked short story: the Latin 
> Golden Age poet Horace epitomizes the Mediterranean virtues and vices 
> – a selfish fat man, vain, but also a writer of genius. Durrell 
> composes a mini-novel by remembering a lover who had made notes in the 
> margin of a Loeb student edition of Horace’s poems. As he traces their 
> affair, he senses in her marginalia’s summary of the Roman’s 
> personality, a shrewd discerning of his own. The creative writer’s 
> need to distance himself from involvement, however romantic his 
> attachment, is a match for the long-dead poet’s chilly self-regard.
>
> So perfect a disguise for one who had
> Exhausted death in art – yet who could guess
> You would discern the liar by a line,
> The suffering hidden under gentleness
> And add upon the fly-leaf in your tall
> Clear hand: “Fat, human and unloved,
> And held from loving by a sort of wall,
> Laid down his books and lovers one by one,
> Indifference and success had crowned them
> all.”
>
> In the novels Durrell marshals his characters with the same ruthless 
> determination as the female lover in the poem. Yet his method is an 
> open one – the reader perceives that the way these people are 
> dissected reflects on the figure of Darley quite as much as on them. 
> Alexandria becomes for them a guide to personal revelation. Darley 
> would see himself either as an unmoved mover, an Isherwoodian 
> observer, the camera who simply records; or he might prefer to be the 
> suffering catalyst of the actions that bedevil them. But the reader 
> begins to appreciate the strategy; the Durrell personality can be 
> filleted out of the action, leaving a huge ground plan of 
> contradictory and bewildered people trapped by history on a darkling 
> plain.
>
> Whether Durrell would have accepted that the liar in Horace was a 
> pre-echo of himself is unknowable. He was writing fiction, and very 
> complicated fiction at that. 


http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/the_tls/article4618977.ece







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