[ilds] Man in White Sharkskin Suit

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Fri Jun 18 08:00:33 PDT 2010

Thanks for the correction, Marc.  I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.


On Jun 18, 2010, at 7:33 AM, Marc Piel wrote:

> Quote from Bruce  " I would not be too surprised 
> were she to say she hadn't read the Quartet."
> Here is what Lucette Lugnado sais about the Quartet:
> "No one has been able to capture soulful, sensuous 
> Egypt like Durrell. In many ways, I thought that 
> my father was like Durrell's female 
> heroine--restless, tormented, both faithless and 
> faithful, and a creature of the night. Each of the 
> novels is an extraordinary work."
> I am enjoying it very much.
> Best regards,
> Marc
> Le 06/06/10 23:01, Bruce Redwine a écrit :
>> James,
>> Lawrence Durrell put modern Alexandria on the map. I'm not discounting
>> or belittling the work of Cavafy and Forster, but their very great
>> contributions were simply not that well known prior to Durrell's /magnum
>> opus./ In a sense, Durrell made his predecessors, whom he fully
>> acknowledges, famous with respect to "The City." Look at the publishing
>> history of Cavafy in English translation and Forster's two books on
>> Alexandria — the flood of Cavafy translations, new editions of Forster,
>> and critical studies of the three, all those all start pouring out after
>> the appearance of the /Quartet./ Give credit where credit is due, and
>> that rightfully belongs to Lawrence Durrell.
>> Now, in /Out of Egypt /(1994), Aciman has written a splendid memoir of
>> his Sephardic roots in Alexandria (a memoir, by the way, which is
>> slightly dishonest, for readers are led to believe it is factual but
>> others claim is partly fictional, much in the way that Durrell invented
>> people in his travel books). As you would expect from a specialist in
>> French literature, Aciman is literary, and his book reads with the grace
>> of fiction, but how he can clearly allude to Proust's /Temps Perdu/ and
>> not at least drop a hint of indebtedness to L. G. Durrell is beyond me.
>> As I argue in my /Arion/ article on Haag's work, Aciman wants to
>> disassociate himself from the Alexandria of Cavafy, Forster, and
>> Durrell. That's his choice, however. If he wants to be excluded from
>> that great tradition, then so be it, although I believe in at least
>> acknowledging those predecessors, whom he most certainly is aware of.
>> Lucette Lugnado's book is about Cairo and her family. Although well
>> written, I would not call it literary, certainly not in the way that
>> Aciman's is. I would not be too surprised were she to say she hadn't
>> read the /Quartet./ After all, she was born when /Justine/ was being
>> written. But you're right, Durrell is the "elephant in the room," and
>> she may have felt intimidated by his omnipresence. Hence, no direct
>> allusions. The influence, if such, is in the sense of Cairo as a "place"
>> of special memories and experiences long gone. Her use of the balcony of
>> her family home on Malaka Nazli reminds me of similar tropes in Cavafy
>> and Haag. She mentions that balcony during the video of her reading in
>> Cairo.
>> Read her book. It's a moving experience.
>> Bruce
>> On Jun 6, 2010, at 12:17 PM, James Gifford wrote:
>>> Very few critical works have mentioned Durrell and Aciman together as
>>> well:
>>> Porter, Roger J. "Autobiography, Exile, Home: The Egyptian Memoirs of
>>> Gini Alhadeff, André Aciman, and Edward Said." /Biography/ 24.1 (2001):
>>> 302-313. (Mentions the Durrell conference, On Miracle Ground XI, in
>>> Corfu, numerous times.)
>>> Giovannucci, Perri. The Modernizing Mission: Literature and Development
>>> in North Africa. Diss. University of Miami, 2005.
>>> I suspect that the same way Durrell's Eliotic influences are displaced
>>> by the "Old Poet of the city," Aciman and Lagnado may be avoiding the
>>> elephant in the room... I've not read the book, but are there
>>> Durrellian allusions or influences, Bruce?
>>> Cheers,
>>> James
>>> On 06/06/10 11:40 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
>>>> Thanks, Charles. I hadn't seen Ms. Lagnado speak before. She's
>>>> charming, no? She and Andre Aciman (Out of Egypt) are primarily
>>>> writing about nostalgia within an Egyptian context. I wonder why
>>>> neither mention or allude to Durrell. Aciman's omission in this
>>>> regard seems to me particularly grevious.
>>>> Bruce
>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>> On Jun 6, 2010, at 10:15 AM, Charles Sligh<Charles-Sligh at utc.edu
>>>> <mailto:Charles-Sligh at utc.edu>>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Bruce Redwine wrote:
>>>>>> Marc,
>>>>>> True, Lucette Lagnado ("Loulou") was born in 1956, but her memoir is
>>>>>> mainly about her father, Leon Lagnado, who married her mother Edith
>>>>>> in
>>>>>> 1943.
>>>>> ***
>>>>> Lucette Lagnado, author of The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit, talks
>>>>> about her book in Cairo Egypt
>>>>> http://vimeo.com/10151234
>>>>> ***
>>>>> Lucette Lagnado
>>>>> http://www.harpercollins.com/authors/29557/Lucette_Lagnado/index.aspx
>>>>> http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Man-White-Sharkskin-Suit-Lucette-Lagnado/?isbn=9780060822187?AA=index_authorIntro_29557
>>>>> ***
>>>>> Out of Egypt
>>>>> Published: August 12, 2007
>>>>> http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/books/review/Newhouse-t.html?ex=1344571200&en=15f09d3482a0665f&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
>>>>> <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/books/review/Newhouse-t.html?ex=1344571200&en=15f09d3482a0665f&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss>
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