[ilds] Durrell on the French

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Fri Oct 9 07:56:50 PDT 2009

David raises an interesting and important point.  Maybe someone who's  
studied Durrell's stylistics should comment on his penchant for  
aphorisms and "gnomic" remarks, as he calls them somewhere.  What do  
they say about the man?  And what about this one?  Should we simply  
attribute the comment to Darley's naïveté?  Or is this actually  
Durrell the narrator speaking?  It takes a lot of hubris to reduce  
"French thought," if there is such a thing, which I doubt, to "sand  
moulds."  The French and their intellectual history are surely too  
subtle, too diverse, and too independent to be summed up in one  
metaphor.  The French themselves like aphorism, hence those of La  
Rochefoucauld, so maybe it's all ironic.  A joke.  I'm not even sure  
what a "sand mould" is, never having encountered any on the beach.


On Oct 8, 2009, at 6:25 PM, Denise Tart & David Green wrote:

> Regarding Pombal:
> "Nevertheless there is no woman too humble, too battered, too old,  
> to receive those outward attentions - those little gallantries and  
> sorties of wit which I have come to associate with the Gallic  
> temperament; the heady meretricious French charm which evaporates so  
> easily into pride and mental indolence - like French thought which  
> flows so quickly into sand moulds, the original espirit hardening  
> immediately into deadening concepts. " (Justine page 33)
> Mmm, a nation described in a few sentences?
> reminds of plan 17 before the First World War - the original espirit  
> hardened into a deadening concept.
> David Green
> 16 William Street
> Marrickville NSW  2204
> +61 2 9564 6165
> 0412 707 625
> dtart at bigpond.net.au
> www.denisetart.com.au

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