[ilds] Olive Trees

Marc Piel marcpiel at interdesign.fr
Sun Oct 18 05:44:16 PDT 2009

Yes Prospero's Cell is extremely rich...
I had not noticed this before "N. begins making 
her slow painful notes for paintings---" top page 
116 in the 1962 paperback edition;
- Maybe Nancy was LD prompt to paint?
- LD also made slow painful notes!

I am reading a diary of Guy de Maupassant; he is 
talking about "salons" where artists and prominent 
figures are more than solicited.... here are the 
few lines about poets and authors:

Mais le romancier présente des dangers qu'on ne 
rencontre pas chez le poète, il ronge, pille et 
exploite tout ce qu'il a sous les yeux. Avec lui 
on ne peut jamais être tranquille, jamais sûr 
qu'il ne vous couchera point, un jour, toute nue, 
entre les pages d'un livre. Son oeil est comme une 
pompe qui absorbe tout, comme la main d'un voleur 
toujours en travail. Rien ne lui échappe ; il 
cueille et ramasse sans cesse : il cueille les 
mouvements, les gestes, les intentions, tout ce 
qui passe et se passe devant lui ; il ramasse les 
moindres paroles, les moindres actes, les moindres 
choses. Il emmagasine du matin au soir des 
observations de toute nature dont il fait des 
histoires à vendre, des histoires qui courent au 
bout du monde, qui seront lues, discutées, 
commentées par des milliers et des millions de 
personnes. Et ce qu'il y a de terrible, c'est 
qu'il fera ressemblant, le gredin, malgré lui, 
inconsciemment, parce qu'il voit juste et qu'il 
raconte ce qu'il a vu. Malgré ses efforts et ses 
ruses pour déguiser les personnages, on dira : 
"Avez-vous reconnu M. X... et Mme Y... ? Ils sont 

Here is a rough translation:

But the novelist presents hazards not encountered 
in the poet, he gnaws, plunders and exploits all 
he has before his eyes. With him you can never 
relax, never be sure that one day, he will put you 
in a bed naked, between the pages of a book. His 
eye is like a pump that absorbs everything, like 
the hand of a thief always working. Nothing 
escapes him, he picks and collects everthing: 
movements, gestures, intentions, everything that 
comes and goes before him, he picks up every word, 
the smallest acts, the smallest things. He stores 
them from morning to night, all day anything which 
he can use for stories to sell, stories that 
travel to the end of the world, which will be 
read, discussed, commented upon by thousands and 
millions of people. And what is terrible is that 
he will detail the villain, despite himself, 
unconsciously, because he just sees it and tells 
what he saw. Despite his efforts and ruses to 
disguise the characters, you will hear: "Do you 
recognize Mr.X .. and Mrs. Y. ..? They are striking."

I thought it was very appropriate to some of the 
recent posts.Please excuse the translation.

Charles Sligh a écrit :
> Thanks for returning to that memorable chapter in Prospero's Cell, David.
> I wonder how the reader is supposed to take those characters?  (Your response seems one right way to proceed.)
> There is an interesting generic mix in Prospero's Cell--from the personal journal chapters to the "historical chapters" to the epilogue in Alex &c.
> I am especially impressed that Durrell can convince me of something by the end, and that I actually feel something bittersweet as we take our goodbyes of characters who may or may not be "real."  A conjurer's art book, indeed.
> C&c.
> ________________________________________
> From: ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca [ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca] On Behalf Of Denise Tart & David Green [dtart at bigpond.net.au]
> There are 2 or 3 pages in Landscape with Olive Trees
> previous to what I quoted below that, to me at least, explore  this; worth a
> careful read - pages 114 - 116 of Prospero's Cell, Faber Paperback edition.
> I think Count D, Zarian, Theodore and the narrator are mouthpeices for
> Larry's views on History, conjecture and the creative process.
> David
> 16 William Street
> Marrickville NSW  2204
> +61 2 9564 6165
> 0412 707 625
> dtart at bigpond.net.au
> www.denisetart.com.au
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Godshalk, William (godshawl)" <godshawl at ucmail.uc.edu>
> To: <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
> Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2009 3:04 AM
> Subject: Re: [ilds] Landscape with Olive Trees
>> "Durrell's characters are all aspects of himself."
>> But is it fair to compare words on a page to Durrell himself, a real
>> person?
>> I know that it is oft done, but isn't it like comparing a painting of a
>> rabbit with the one hopping around  in my backyard?
>> _______________________________________________
>> ILDS mailing list
>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
> ***************************************
> Charles L. Sligh
> Department of English
> University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
> Charles-Sligh at utc.edu
> ***************************************
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds

More information about the ILDS mailing list