[ilds] Durrell, Bakhtin, and Joyce--Carnival genres/menippean satire

James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Mon Jun 1 20:27:42 PDT 2009

Hello Jacob,

Welcome to the list!  There are indeed some strong ties between Durrell 
and Petronius, not the least of which are the overt references in /The 
Revolt of Aphrodite/ (the titles of each volume) and the section 
"Minisatyricon" at the end of the /Avignon Quintet/.  There are 
allusions to Petronius in Durrell's earliest novels as well, including 
overt references and covert allusions in /Pied Piper of Lovers/ and 
/Panic Spring/ from the 30s.

But, I think these articles might interest you more immediately:

Zahlan, Anne Ricketson. "City as Carnival, Narrative as Palimpsest: 
Lawrence Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet." /Journal of Narrative 
Technique/ 18.1 (1988): 34-46.

Fraser, G. S. "By Courtesy of the Firm." /New Statesman/ 75 (12 April 
1968): 483-484.

Howarth, Herbert. "Lawrence Durrell and Some Early Masters." /Books 
Abroad/ 37 (Winter 1963): 5-11.

Youssef, Hala Youssef Halim. "The Alexandria Archive: An Archaeology of 
Alexadrian Cosmopolitanism." Diss. UCLA, 2004.

Apart from Zahlan and Youssef, there's been surprisingly little work 
done on Durrell & Bakhtin.  Likewise for Petronius, though it's 
mentioned in passing fairly regularly, but I think Fraser and Howarth 
make the most sustained references.

You'll find we're all pretty open to discussion here.  Fire away!


Jacob Riley wrote:
> Hello everyone from the Durrell discussoin group. I am curious if anyone 
> has read any criticism about Durrell's possible relation with Petronius' 
> Satyricon and other so called 'menippean satires'. I am a student at 
> University of North Carolina Asheville and am hoping to write my thesis 
> on Durrell, but work within the framework of Bakhtin's description of 
> the carnival/menippean satire genres. I wrote a short paper on Joyce's 
> relation to Bakhtin's concept of carnival and am looking to expand it to 
> Durrell. I am also interested in thinking about (theoretically) the 
> connection between Bakhtin's conception of Carnival with the sort of 
> 'play' of post-structuralist theory. Anything anyone could direct me to 
> could be useful--or if you simply would like to discuss this issue with 
> me. As far as the novels go, I have read Durrell's Black Book, the 
> Alexandria Quartet, and am through the first 3 books of the Avignon 
> Quintet (planning on finish it in the next few days).
>                                   -Jacob Riley
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