[ilds] Just Being, Unsullied

Charles Sligh Charles-Sligh at utc.edu
Sat Jun 19 16:52:49 PDT 2010

Denise Tart & David Green wrote:
> When I read these words I could not helping thinking Lawrence Durrell 
> and his island narratives
Very eloquent, David.  Thank you for those Durrellian "reflections."

I will trade you prose description for prose description--really, the 
only fair exchange.

Here is an excerpt from Paul Bowles's  "JOURNEY THROUGH MOROCCO" [1963]:

>         The landscape became constantly more dramatic. For two hours
>         the trail followed a valley that cut deeper and deeper into
>         the rock walls as it went downward. Sometimes we drove along
>         the bed of the stream for a half mile or so. At the date-palm
>         level we came across small oases, cool and green, that filled
>         the canyon floor from cliff to cliff. The lower we went, the
>         higher the mountain walls above, and the sunlight seemed to be
>         coming from farther away. When I was a child I used to imagine
>         Persephone going along a similar road each year on her way
>         down to Hades. A little like having found a back way out of
>         the world. No house, no car, no human being all afternoon.
>         Later, after we'd been driving in shadow a good while, the
>         canyon widened, and there on a promontory above a bend in the
>         dry riverbed, was Tassemsit, compact, orange-gold like the
>         naked rock of the countryside around it, still in the
>         sunlight. A small rich oasis just below it to the south. The
>         zaouia with its mosque and other buidings seemed to occupy a
>         large part of the town's space. A big, tall minaret in
>         northern style, well-preserved. We stopped and got out.
>         Complete silence throughout the valley.
>                 Monsieur Rousselot had seemed pensive and nervous all
>         during the afternoon. He got me aside on some pretext, and we
>         walked down the trail a way, he talking urgently the whole
>         time. It worried him very much that Monsieur Omar should be
>         with us: he felt that his presence represented a very real
>         danger to the status quo of the place. "One false move, and
>         the story of Tassemsit can be finished forever," he said.
>         "C'est très délicat. Above all, not a word about what I told
>         you. Any of it." I said he could count on me. 


Charles L. Sligh
Assistant Professor
Department of English
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
charles-sligh at utc.edu

More information about the ILDS mailing list