[ilds] Durrell's Style(s)

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 30 13:46:05 PST 2008

Bill, perhaps you have something else in mind re "stylistic analysis,"  
but my idea of such pictures compilations and read-outs of word-counts  
and metaphorical usage.  And what would such a stylistic analysis  
accomplish?  Frequency counts of Durrell's idiosyncratic vocabulary?   
Don't we already know this, if only intuitively?  Are the exact number  
of occurrences of "usufruct" and "uxorious" helpful?  Seems to me what  
is really needed is what Charles calls the "why" of Durrell's  
stylistic choices, that is, as Charles says, "I will leave the  
pondering of 'why?' to others.  I do not have any pet theories about  
what Durrell was hiding or from what he was hiding."  Excuse my bad  
language, but I'll throw out a bit of jargon, what the  
Transformational Linguists call "deep structure," as opposed to  
"surface structure."  I'm arguing for a theory and analysis of the  
former, re M. Durrell.


On Nov 29, 2008, at 4:16 PM, william godshalk wrote:

> What I'd like to see is a stylistic analysis. Shakespeare has been  
> closely analyzed with computer programs by Ward Elliott and others  
> -- with very interesting results.
> The Spenserians are reluctant to do the same. What about the  
> Durrellians?
> Just Plain Bill
> At 05:16 PM 11/29/2008, you wrote:
>> I strongly disagree with Charles Sligh's take, which is the  
>> prevalent one in some quarters these days, on the variety of  
>> Durrell's styles and voices — an approach which has resulted in  
>> mistaken identity.  I don't see Durrell as really having multiple  
>> voices (to say nothing of personalities!) that subvert any attempt  
>> to categorize him as this or that.  Now, Durrell probably wanted to  
>> achieve that effect, undoubtedly so, i.e., to appear as, and  
>> perhaps to be, a sardonic, irony-loving Pursewarden, laughing at  
>> everyone from Olympian heights.  But, in my opinion, that is not  
>> echt Durrell.  Echt Durrell is the Durrell of his poetic  
>> beginnings, those openings to the four novels of the Quartet.  That  
>> is Darley's voice, and in part Mountolive's, and that is the voice  
>> people remember and either love or hate.  That is the voice old LD  
>> felt he had to disguise in order to survive in a modernist world of  
>> irony and ambiguity.
>> All too reductive, far too reductive, I can hear Charles saying.
>> Bruce
>> On Nov 29, 2008, at 10:31 AM, Charles Sligh wrote:
>>> The satire falls short because it mistakes Darley's style for  
>>> Durrell's style.
>>> There are so many other facets and voices and writerly styles in  
>>> the /Quartet/.  And a good number of those voices--Pursewarden's  
>>> and Arnauti's especially--make it clear that /Justine/ and the / 
>>> Quartet/ are already parodies, self-satirical in their ironies.
>>> Thus the problem with taking any one statement from /Justine/ with  
>>> high seriousness.  Take a line from that novel and set it up it as  
>>> precept--well,  Brother Ass, you crawl backward more like Polonius  
>>> every day. . . .
>>> Charles
>>> -- 
>>> ********************************************
>>> Charles L. Sligh
>>> Assistant Professor
>>> Department of English
>>> University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
>>> charles-sligh at utc.edu
>>> ********************************************
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> ***************************************
> W. L. Godshalk           *
> Department of English         *
> University of Cincinnati            Stellar disorder  *
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