[ilds] Fw: ILDS Digest, Vol 26, Issue 8_The Enigma of Arriving

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Tue May 12 05:19:42 PDT 2009


perhaps, like Evelyn Waugh, LD was reacting to the 'proletarian scholars'.

I often think of his work as a reaction to modernity, the rise of American 
style business mantras.

Clito's wine bar was a better place for LD than Cloisters of Oxford, the 
corporate towers of New York. even if the colonial arm-chair piss-up scene 
apealed enormously, LD embraced a european mode after Norman Douglas even 
if, in truth, it was not really him - he embraced that style of life as a 
concept, as a second reality to his own existence.

Pass the retsina.


Denise Tart
Civil Celebrant - A8807
16 William Street
Marrickville NSW  2204
+61 2 9564 6165
0412 707 625
dtart at bigpond.net.au
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Sumantra Nag" <sumantranag at gmail.com>
To: <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 12:31 AM
Subject: [ilds] Fw: ILDS Digest, Vol 26, Issue 8_The Enigma of Arriving

> Sorry, my response to David Green preceded his text instead of succeeding
> it. I am therefore sending this post again.
> Sumantra
> ---------------------------------------------------- 
> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 9 May 2009 07:58:29 +1000
> David Green wrote:
> "With Durrell you get personal experience transformed or indeed refracted
> into a recreated parallel world; myth, magic, ficton and reality all 
> rolled
> into one and  when larry writes -
>    The city wobbles cool as a jelly, with colours of wine, tar, blood and
>    ripening grain, floating like fragments of a stained-glass window
> I am there, it is real for me. It matters not whether Durrell's Corfu,
> Rhodes, Cyprus or Alexandria are largley fictions. Durrell was a poet and
> novelist and the term travel writer is a misnomer in his case and I have
> always thought so. Larry was always much more into spirit of place - oh 
> and
> colonial drawing rooms and wine bars and why not. I traveled a lot and, in
> the folly of youth stayed in near flea ridden hovels with drunken pack
> packers and I've stayed in 4 and 5 star hotels. the later are much better
> and you can write about them too with equal validity..."
> -------- 
> This deals with the question of prose style and visually evocative images.
> In his book "Enemies of Promise" (published in 1938 and later reprinted) 
> the
> writer Cyril Connolly wrote extensively about the "mandarin" style of
> writing which he associated with Walter Pater, Henry James, Ruskin, Proust
> and other writers associated with a  certain quality of intensity and
> ornateness of language and description. (This is a very compressed, but I
> hope, moderately accurate description of what Connolly meant by the
> "mandarin" style!) Aestheticism is I suppose implicit in the mandarin
> style.
> Cyril Connolly was among the first reviewers of "Justine. It has often
> occurred to me that Lawrence Durrell would have been regarded by Connolly
> as
> a writer who has revived the mandarin style. But I can't recall having 
> ever
> read the full review of "Justine" by Connolly, in the 'Sunday Times'. Here
> is an extract taken from the cover page (Faber Paperback):
>    "Mr Durrell is more than a novelist, he is a writer; I think that in
>     "Justine" ... he has found a form, a blend of imagination and
> memory,
>    of analysis and dream, poetry and prose, which enables him, in the sun
> of
>    Alexandria and the shade of Kavafy,         to come into his own..."
> Interesting - the distinction Connolly makes between 'novelist' and
> 'writer'!
> Sumantra
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