[ilds] My Family, Bitter Lemons and wine

James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Mon Jan 19 17:02:18 PST 2009


Hey David -- my hunch is that Bill was pointing to the striking shift in 
tone (much like the striking shift in tone when the Douglas reference 
appears in Durrell).  In other words, the tone (so hard to convey in 
email) is less interpreted as in Foghorn Leghorn's "Boy, I say Boy!" and 
more like a Beaver Cleaver "Boy, that's hard work!"  Bill, for whatever 
reason (Bill?) finds Douglas very much "of the moment," contrary to you 
(the temptation is to ask when he first read Douglas...), yet the Beav's 
"boy" (man, geez, golly, goshdiggity) is notably dated as well.  In 
contrast, I should think that Foghorn Leghorn's "Boy" (son, servant, 
inferior, blathering sound made to an urchin) is fresh and alive today 
just as much as it was 50 years ago (the tone of "boy" that I suspect 
neither you nor Bill was meaning).

This might be as much as saying, all "dated" moments continue to be 
spoken in the here & now, so Douglas is only as dated as our own 
recourse to 50s slang is dated.  I suspect this also means Bill has a 
softer spot for Douglas than we'd expected...  Again, Bill?

Personally, I think my ROLF, LOL, or LMFAS, ;) and OMG are going to be 
much more dated in 10 years time than Douglas will be, though I get your 
point.  Still, Shakespeare is lively while 50s romance novels have 
become horrifyingly stilted (I received /Lament for Four Virgins/ for 
xmas, so I can make this contrast with confidence).  I'm reminded of the 
other Douglas, Douglas Coupland, and I can't shake the sense that his 
/Generation X/ is now just as dated as Norman Douglas, perhaps even more 
so, despite being barely 15 years old.

Out of curiosity though, and I actually don't know what to think of this 
yet, how would you (both of you) compare Durrell and Douglas with regard 
to "dated" diction?  It strikes me that Durrell was "dated" when he 
first appeared, as was Douglas (just hold Durrell up next to Kerouac 
from the same year, '57).  Yet, reading Kerouac, I get the sense that 
I'm now hearing slang that died a long, long time ago though it was 
clearly more 'contemporary' at the time than Durrell was (I don't think 
"tea" even refers to the same non-caffeinated source of bliss now as it 
did for Kerouac), whereas with Durrell, those archaic turns keep him 
more fresh and contemporary 50 years later.  I've had the same sense 
with Burgess and {shudder} Malcolm X this term.

Do you find Douglas similarly "timelessly-antiquated," or am I barking 
up the wrong tree?

Schucks,
James

Denise Tart & David Green wrote:
> I think the quotation in question was
> 
> " It's thirty work talking like a Norman Douglas character"
> 
> 'boy' had nothing to do with it and you said this just to make fun of me. I 
> wonder who is laughing?
> 
> David.
> 
> 16 William Street
> Marrickville NSW  2204
> +61 2 9564 6165
> 0412 707 625
> dtart at bigpond.net.au
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "william godshalk" <godshawl at email.uc.edu>
> To: <Charles-Sligh at utc.edu>; <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
> Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 10:53 AM
> Subject: Re: [ilds] My Family, Bitter Lemons and wine
> 
> 
>> No, but "boy" stands out.
>>
>>
>> At 06:49 PM 1/18/2009, you wrote:
>>> Denise Tart & David Green wrote:
>>>> PS - Norman Douglas may be dated, but South Wind reads like a book of
>>>> exquisite philosophy and boy can you see where LD got some of his
>>>> characters from.
>>> <<<"'It's thirsty work talking like a Norman Douglas character.'">>>
>>>
>>> Can you place that quotation, David?
>>>
>>> /Salud/--
>>>
>>> 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  *
>> Cincinnati OH 45221-0069      *
>> 513-281-5927
>> ***************************************
>>
>>
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