[ilds] Ankles

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed May 5 13:28:16 PDT 2010


The recurrent "ankle" image, which you've noted before, could you elaborate and give references?  I missed that in my readings.  When you mentioned it, I immediately though of Thomas Wyatt's famous "They flee from me":  "They flee from me, that sometime did me seek, / With naked foot stalking in my chamber."


On May 4, 2010, at 8:27 AM, James Gifford wrote:

>> Yes, but that begs the question why certain terms stick in one's mind
>> rather than others.  Now it may be that LD was so saturated in the
>> literature of the English Renaissance that he began to think like an
>> Elizabethan or a Jacobean.  Or he may have latched onto a vocabulary
>> that had a special significance for him, conscious or unconscious.
>> Or, obviously, some combination of both.  I lean towards the second
>> of the first two possibilities, which I find more interesting as a
>> critical exercise.
> I agree with Charles that I'd very much like to see you pursue this 
> problem.  That said, after spending so much time on LD's early fiction, 
> I wouldn't dismiss the saturation hypothesis so quickly either.  I'd 
> suggest that he really was immersed in that language, and his claim to 
> have read across the Elizabethans before moving to Corfu has merit -- I 
> could have taken another year just to attempt to hunt down likely echoes 
> or allusions on /Pied Piper/ and /Panic Spring/, and many I found were 
> well off the beaten path.
> Another very likely factor is Durrell's notebook method.  He jotted down 
> bits and pieces, words, phrases, or images that he liked in a series of 
> expostulations or free associations -- these are later 'quaried' into 
> the fiction (I believe Pine has traced this process more thoroughly than 
> anyone else, cf Mindscape [really, just dip in anywhere -- it's 
> recurrent]).  It's not so far from a cut-up method in some respects.
> My own hunch would be a combination of all 3 of these in tandem: special 
> significance of vocabulary (just look at the image of the ankle across 
> his oeuvre), immersion (Elizabethans in particular), and method (notebooks).
> Cheers,
> James

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