[ilds] overprivileged aestheticism

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Fri Sep 25 15:56:06 PDT 2009

Terry Eagleton comes across as an old style intellectual commo of a type I was very familiar with at University in the early 80's. You can tell by the text Sumatra posted that he has that hate mongering leftist tone such one used to find in the Guardian newspaper. I can easily imagine that Durrell's Raj background and literary aspiration without a university degree would have annoyed the puritanical Eagleton enormously - in the same way that Albert Finney did not get on with Gerald when the two were working on a film version of My Family and Other Animals. Here is Douglas Botting:

Gerald and Finney were unable to form much personal rapport, for Finnet regarded Gerald as an overprivileged product of the Raj - or so it seemed to Gerald - while Gerald grew weary of Finney's exegesis of his own underprivileged working class childhood (pp 344 - 345 Harper Collins paperback)

I reckon Larry wrote quite consciously against the style of which reb brick university Eagleton would have approved. His work is deliberate rejection of post war marxism - just look at the cast of characters and the settings in the quartet and the quintet - as for the languid,philosphic idle of Prosperos Cell, the likes of Eaglton must have choked on this when they read it! This is probably why I like it so much. The Count D is my hero.

I would like to propose a toast in the finest wine known to humanity to overprivileged aetheticism, long may it continue to grace the world as a civilised and restraining influence on Wildean model or the model of Norman Douglas.

As for being working class, as a former premier of New South Wales said; "the best thing about being working class is the chance to get out of it!" as I am sure Finney and possibly Eagleton have. And as for trying to put Larry down for avoiding World War Two - sure, why not. War is a capitalist Imperialist plot anyway. Eagleton should have approved.

David Green
16 William Street
Marrickville NSW  2204
+61 2 9564 6165
0412 707 625
dtart at bigpond.net.au
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