[ilds] Durrell's propensity to lie

Godshalk, William (godshawl) godshawl at ucmail.uc.edu
Sun Jun 20 17:28:25 PDT 2010

I've said it before, and I say it again----

Read K. K. Ruthven's excellent book, Faking Literature. Ruthven approaches this topic from various and sundry places, some of which you may not really care for.


W. L. Godshalk *
Department of English    *           *
University of Cincinnati*   * Stellar Disorder  *
OH 45221-0069 *  *
From: ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca [ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca] On Behalf Of Bruce Redwine [bredwine1968 at earthlink.net]
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2010 11:33 AM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Cc: Bruce Redwine
Subject: Re: [ilds] Durrell's propensity to lie

Usually people make a distinction between storytelling, the process of making literature, and living in the real world of everyday life.  I'm beginning to doubt that Lawrence G. Durrell saw a difference between the two.  Re the real world, we all lie on occasion.  I myself try to keep it at a minimum and hate myself when I do.  Not so with Durrell, who seemed to make a profession of it and delight in the results, as some are suggesting.  I suspect he justified lying either because he had a very flexible notion of Truth, which we've discussed before, or because he "wanted to believe" things happened in a certain way, as MacNiven suggests on one occasion.  I grant that the latter may not be strictly speaking a "lie," which depends on self-awareness.  If so, then we enter the area of the pathological.


On Jun 20, 2010, at 3:55 AM, Richard Pine wrote:

> Bruce Redwine asks 'Has anyone fully explained Durrell's propensity to lie?'
> Has anyone fully explained his/her own propensity to lie? When was the last time you told a lie? And for what reason? For artistic effect? Or to deceive your wife? Or the tax collector? Or the traffic cop? Storytelling is predicated on the capacity to make truths of untruths: credo quia absurdum/impossibile depending on which version of Tertullian you prefer. If it were not fantastic, merveilleux, there would be no point in travelling on the elephant's back.
> RP

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