[ilds] "for an account of that sort of life, Kipling."

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Sun Jun 27 12:19:12 PDT 2010


Bruce,

I thought you were talking about metaphors (and in some respects, I 
should think a metonym) -- if all metaphors are lies, haven't I just 
lied in stating this?  What, after all, do you think of Durrell as a 
highly metafictional author in an age of realism?  That's quite a stand 
to have taken at the time, contra the Auden Generation and contra the 
Angry Young Men -- rather than a realism that teaches us what to be 
rather than what we really are (ideology), Durrell refuses the investment.

I don't expect fiction authors to tell me the literal truth, especially 
when they've made a point of emphasizing the fact that fiction is 
fiction, yet the literal truth (realism, which I see as ideology) is 
what Durrell's contemporaries had on sale.  I'm more than happy to 
condemn how their texts function, how their texts are put to a use, and 
what they've done in their lives, but at some point the work has to 
stand as fiction -- if not, we can never listen to Wagner, read Shelley, 
nor enjoy much art at all...  In part, I think that's why the realism of 
the 30s has fallen to the "unreal"ism of the 20s in much literary criticism.

Tell me more about how you think of Durrell's metaphors?  Form, 
function, and trends?  Whether or not he believed them (and he seems to 
have snapped back and forth quite easily depending on the audience and 
forum) strikes me as a matter for those how lived with him, and that's 
none of us...  Did Eliot really believe he was a catalyst?  Who cares? 
But it does interesting things for his works.

Cheers,
James

On 27/06/10 10:02 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
> Charles,
>
> The real question is, to what extent did Durrell know what he was doing?  My opinion:  sometimes he lied knowingly, but he did that so often that lies became Truth, for him anyway.
>
>
> Bruce
>
>
>
> On Jun 27, 2010, at 9:37 AM, Charles Sligh wrote:
>
>> Bruce Redwine wrote:
>>>
>>> And that's the way I take his statements about speaking Hindi and
>>> Urdu.  They're not statements of fact — they're metaphors.
>>>
>>>
>> Yes, /now/ you are getting a sense of the thing.
>>
>> C&c.
>>
>> --
>> ********************************************
>> Charles L. Sligh
>> Assistant Professor
>> Department of English
>> University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
>> charles-sligh at utc.edu
>> ********************************************
>>
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