[ilds] The Wisdom of George Orwell in relation to LawrenceDurrell

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Wed Oct 14 15:00:52 PDT 2009

I'd love to respond to this whole series of comments, but I'm buried at 
the moment and get on yet another silly flight tomorrow...

Can I borrow from Richard's play book and suggest that anyone interest 
in Durrell's public school experience, views on the Oxbridge crowd, 
Bloomsbury, and the London Bohemians take a look at /Pied Piper of 
Lovers/ and /Panic Spring/ (in lovely new editions from ELS Editions):


Fleeing the leftist stance is, to my mind, a part of Durrell's 
antiauthoritarian stint in this period (not a right wing nor colonial 
tic), and the comparison to Orwell reminds me of Orwell's borrowings 
from Durrell's /Panic Spring/ as well as their minor public tiff in /The 
New English Weekly/ over what Orwell had thought was a return to the 
High Modernist's egoism (he'd missed the antiauhtoritarian element).

Would I prefer a Durrell who had had the experience of a tutor but not 
of Corfu, Paris, and North Africa?  No.

And now back to lurking and longing for time to write...


Denise Tart & David Green wrote:
> /Bruce wrote:/
> // 
> /David, //Orwell is always good to read, a very careful and true essayist./
> David Green writes:-
> Orwell's writing provide a further insight, at least to me, on the 
> failure, real or imagined, of Durrell's Oxbridge campaign. It is clear 
> that the left leaning orthodoxy of British intellectuals at the time and 
> the dominance in many areas - especially English and History - of the 
> proletarian scholars would not have been to Lawrence's taste at all. It 
> may be true to say that he could have cut with the flambouyant aesthetes 
> so wonderfully described in Waugh's /Brideshead Revisited/ but here the 
> matter of class cuts in. The aesthetes were usually nobs. Of his own 
> school days at St. Cyprian's Orwell writes:-
> /In effect there were three castes at the school. There was the minority 
> with an aristocratic or millionaire background, there were the children 
> of the ordinary suburban rich, who made up the bulk of the school, and 
> there were a few underlings like myself, the sons of clergymen, _Indian 
> civil servants_, struggling widows and the like. (p 78/)
> I imagine the situation at West Wrattling would have been very similar 
> and that Durrell would have firstly felt well out of place and secondly 
> well down the pecking order and being small would not have helped. I 
> suspect RW Hedges is right in that these schools were 'horrible places'. 
> Orwell certainly describes them as such and Larry's reaction to his 
> schooling in England was hardly positive. Unfortunately for Orwell he 
> had no where else to go, while Larry, with his small private income and 
> supportive family, did. He fled the tyranny of leftist thought and the 
> English class system. Oxbridge was not for him.
> David Green
> 16 William Street
> Marrickville NSW  2204
> +61 2 9564 6165
> 0412 707 625
> dtart at bigpond.net.au <mailto:dtart at bigpond.net.au>
> www.denisetart.com.au <http://www.denisetart.com.au>
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