[ilds] Brilliant disguise

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Sat Sep 26 19:48:06 PDT 2009

David, I'll drink a toast to you and Count D., who is really Durrell himself in aristocratic disguise. 


Durrell Claims in the preface to Prospero's Cell that the Count D was a real character only not a count according to Gordon Bowker. Perhaps Larry invested much of himself into this person, whoever he may be.

Writers are often frustrated actors. They have multiple facets to their characters and create personas and dramas through which to enact a version of their lives in the same way as Lord Henry Wooton in the Picture of Dorian Grey has been said to Oscar Wilde as he wished himself to be.

Re reading Justine I am struck again by how what was actually going on Larry's life moves seemlessly in and out his fiction; reality and creation being almost impossible to determine. Even when LD says 'only the city is real' he is being disengenuous.

We imagine Larry and Sapho on Cyprus. Larry aone in his gloomy peasant home seeking to make sense of the Alexandria years and two failed marriages. The real Durrell drifts in and out - or does he?

This is Durrell's craft.

Between the idea and the reality falls the shadow. With Larry the shadows are deep indeed, almost dark.

"so tell me who I see, when I look in eyes? is that you baby, or just a brilliant disguise" - Bruce Springsteen


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

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