[ilds] Suicide

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 20 07:30:35 PDT 2009

Thanks.  I hope the next issue of Deus Loci comes out soon.  By the  
way, what is the date of OMG in New Orleans?


On Aug 20, 2009, at 3:56 AM, James Gifford wrote:

> The Antaeus papers (meant to be diaries...) have revealing comments on
> this topic.  See Durrell's "Endpapers and Inklings."  As for Sappho, I
> have a review of Mary Hamer's book in the forthcoming issue of /Deus
> Loci/, which might also be applicable.
> -J
> Bruce Redwine wrote:
>> Schizophrenia is a mysterious disease, but I don't think it has its
>> origins in child rearing.  I haven't come across that explanation.
>> Sappho-Jane was severely disturbed — read her journal and that is
>> obvious.  Equally obvious are her fantasies about her father, as she
>> writes about them.  I'm suggesting she identified too closely with  
>> him
>> and his persistent themes.  I also think suicide and fantasies about
>> self-extinction are far too prevalent in Durrell's work to attribute
>> them simply to the "imaginative process."  I would call them an
>> obsession.
>> Bruce
>> On Aug 19, 2009, at 6:16 PM, PETER BALDWIN wrote:
>>> I understand that the view held by psychiatrists is that a child
>>> reared by a parent with psychiatric difficulties is more prone to
>>> suffer from the same presenting problems not for any specifically
>>> genetic reason, although that can be one reason, but because the  
>>> same
>>> presenting problems will be taken up by the child.
>>> Given that Larry did not rear Sappho, I think it dangerous to
>>> speculate as to the aetiology of her illness. I suspect some
>>> researcher somewhere has inspected the transcript of the coroners
>>> verdict. This would, I think, be a document of public record and
>>> would set out the coroner's conclusions, inter alia, of Sappho's
>>> emotional state
>>> I once asked Durrell if he ever considered suicide and he quickly
>>> denied it - as part of the imaginative process, an artist might
>>> speculate through his characters about such things without ever
>>> having the desire to take his own life.
>>> I think also that Durrell's saviour when he was at his most creative
>>> was the emotional positivism he created through his books.
>>> peter baldwin
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> From: bredwine1968 at earthlink.net <mailto:bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca <mailto:ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
>>> Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 13:11:06 -0700
>>> CC: bredwine1968 at earthlink.net <mailto:bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>>> Subject: [ilds] Suicide
>>> James,
>>> We're all just guessing.  Sappho-Jane was schizophrenic, I believe
>>> that was the diagnosis, and I know very, very little about the
>>> etiology, symptoms, and prognosis of that disease.  It may be,
>>> however, that she was in tune or sensitive, in a warped sense, to  
>>> her
>>> father's psychology.  That's the link I'm proposing, although
>>> obviously just a wild guess.  She took her father's imaginative
>>> explorations too seriously or was influenced by them, to disastrous
>>> effects.  I'd like to see more done on "what Durrell was hiding."
>>> Bruce

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