[ilds] a "hero" or spokesman

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 3 19:17:34 PDT 2010


I too cry over Maggie and Tom.  We should all empty our glasses of wine and cry at the passing of Durrell's Alexandria, which has truly refunded itself into memory.


On Jun 3, 2010, at 5:43 PM, Charles Sligh wrote:

> Bruce Redwine wrote:
>> Interesting.  But I wouldn't be so hard on young LGD.  I don't find 
>> him all that tiresome.  Being young and callow is part of growing up, 
>> and if M. Durrell is willing to stick with him as principal character 
>> in three novels, then critics and readers have to ask why that's the 
>> case. 
> Absolutely agree. 
> As my comment about myself "chiding" myself indicated, my previous post 
> was autobiographical--about my past ways of reading Lawrence Durrell, 
> all part of the shifting continuum of my personality. . . .
>> The ending to the /Quartet/ is powerful, hopeful, and indeed 
>> saccharine, but I don't see irony undermining any of that.  What's 
>> wrong with a little "tenderness," the kind that Pursewarden longed for 
>> ("tortured beyond endurance")?
> Nothing in some books--remember I am a Victorianist, and we Victorians 
> do that better than anybody else.  I cry every time I read about Davy 
> Copperfield's stepfather beating him, and I teared up in class today 
> reading about Maggie taking the boat out on the flooded floss to rescue 
> Tom.  I wonder about the place of this response within the different 
> terms of the /Quartet/. . . .
>> I would say that the faults you ascribe to Darley are probably faults 
>> in Durrell's execution and your desire to place Pursewarden at the 
>> forefront of the story, which he quite simply isn't.  I think one of 
>> Durrell's reasons for having Ludwig bump himself off is to allow 
>> Darley to grow and take control of the narrative.  As you have said 
>> before, more or less, we have to take the Durrell we have, not the one 
>> we want.
> I think I read the /Quartet/ in the opposite direction now. 
> In the notebooks, Durrell achieves the character who became 
> Arnauti/Darley (avatars of the same figure) before he conceives 
> Pursewarden.  In fact, my sense is that Pursewarden occurs because of 
> Darley, as a necessary reflex to ward off Darley-ism.   Every book its 
> own critic &c. . . .
> Undiluted Darleyism would be insufferable, although I find many readers 
> who remain loyal Darley-ists to the end.  In the same way, an 
> all-Pursewarden book would be too brutally ironic and smart to take. . . .
> C&c.

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