[ilds] A QUESTION AND AN OBSERVATION

William Apt billyapt at gmail.com
Mon Aug 30 18:08:33 PDT 2010


Dear all:

QUESTION:  I'm reading Prof. MacNiven's Durrell bio, which is great.  But am
a bit confused regarding a passage I encountered today.  On page 93:  the
discussion about Durrell in his 20s not having direction, but realizing he
must follow some defined path in the form of occupation, or else find his
life merely a search for meaning that does not net the Big Answer.  Do I
understand Durrell to have believed that ANY defined occupational path was
neverthless a cop-out?  Even the pursuit of art?  But if one lacks talent
AND refuses to get a regular job and just continues, like so many bohemians,
to flounder their way through life, how is that courageous?  How does that
not end in "doom"?  And then how is the pursuit of art by one with talent
cowardly?  What does he mean that cowardice is the only escape?  I'm
completely lost on this one.

OBSERVATION:  For those better versed in Durrell, please forgive me.  What I
about to say may already be well known.  On Page 94 of the bio, I realized
for the first time that, contrary to Durrell's image of himself as
completely different from that of his father, the two were quite similar in
a fundamental way:  Durrell approached the construction of his portrayal of
the pysches of his characters like his father did the construction of public
works projects.  "Space against Time curves and stresses, structures and
dimensions..."  Durrell was every bit the engineer that his father was, only
their materials were different.  Durrell was like Cezanne in that way:  both
sought to reveal the dynamic inner structure of things.

-- 
WILLIAM APT
Attorney at Law
7004 Bee Cave Rd, Bldg 1,
Ste 205
Austin TX 78746
512/708-8300
512/708-8011 FAX
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