[ilds] Somewhere between Calabria and Corfu theblue really begins

Godshalk, William (godshawl) godshawl at ucmail.uc.edu
Wed Sep 8 12:54:54 PDT 2010


	
'Elemental and Permanent Things': George Gissing and Norman Douglas in Southern Italy 
Author: Sharon Ouditt

Abstract
This essay offers a comparison between George Gissing's By the Ionian Sea and Norman Douglas's Old Calabria, two travelogues, published in the first part of the twentieth century, that construct contrasting images of the regions of Italy south of Naples. Gissing's account is limpid, lucid; a voyage into his own imaginative past and into the heart of Magna Graecia, where 'today' is 'an impertinence'. Douglas's account, on the other hand, is disorderly, capacious and polyvocal: his Calabria is one of 'multiple civilisations' and one which is palpably capable of fostering the 'sunny mischiefs' to which he is inclined. The comparison draws on the biographical, social and cultural contexts in which the two were writing and considers the various means of travel undertaken, the relationship between past and present and that between writer and interlocutor, in the setting of this relatively neglected part of Europe.

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: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 1:22 PM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Cc: Bruce Redwine
Subject: Re: [ilds] Somewhere between Calabria and Corfu theblue really begins

Gotta say no to the C. Morley allusion and go with a reference to N. Douglas, as Grove notes below.  Along this line, I always thought Iago's slur, "making the beast with two backs," was original with Shakespeare, but it wasn't — a note in the Arden Othello says the phrase was proverbial.  Still, Shakespeare gets the credit, and Durrell will too.


BR





On Sep 8, 2010, at 2:27 AM, Wilson, Fraser wrote:


Douglas certainly knew how to describe a boat trip - as in South Wind,
below - which can be grabbed online from Project Gutenburg at no cost.



His companion, meanwhile, beheld the panorama in all its nightmarish
splendour, as it drifted past him. He saw the bluffs of feathery
pumice, the lava precipices--frozen cataracts of white, black, blood
red, pale grey and sombre brown, smeared over with a vitreous enamel of
obsidian or pierced by oily, writhing dykes that blazed with metallic
scintillations. Anon came some yawning cleft or an assemblage of dizzy
rock-needles, fused into whimsical tints and attitudes, spiky,
distorted, over-toppling; then a bold tufa rampart, immaculate in its
beauty, stainless as a curtain of silk. And as the boat moved on he
looked into horrid dells which the rains had torn out of the loose
scoriae. Gaping wounds, they wore the bright hues of corruption. Their
flanks were blotched with a livid nitrous efflorescence, with flaring
sulphur, unhealthy verdure of pitchstone, streaks of arsenical
vermilion; their beds--a frantic maze of boulders.

He beheld this crazy stratification, this chaos of incandescent nature,
sent in a flame of deep blue sky and sea. It lay there calmly, like
some phantasmagoric flower, some monstrous rose that swoons away, with
upturned face, in a solar caress.



-----Original Message-----
From: ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca<mailto:ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca> [mailto:ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca] On
Behalf Of gkoger at mindspring.com<mailto:gkoger at mindspring.com>
Sent: 08 September 2010 03:44
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca<mailto:ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Subject: Re: [ilds] Somewhere between Calabria and Corfu theblue really
begins

Gissing? As in George Gissing, who wrote /By the Ionian Sea/?

I've always assumed that Durrell's line is a reference to Norman Douglas
and his /Old Calabria/, in which Douglas devotes several pages to
Gissing, by the way. In doing so Durrell acknowledges a debt to Douglas
AND announces that he is moving beyond him, geographically and
otherwise. Douglas devoted one short book to Greece but his interests
lay primarily in Italy.

Grove

-----Original Message-----
From: "Godshalk, William (godshawl)" <godshawl at ucmail.uc.edu<mailto:godshawl at ucmail.uc.edu>>
Sent: Sep 7, 2010 7:23 PM
To: "ilds at lists.uvic.ca<mailto:ilds at lists.uvic.ca>" <ilds at lists.uvic.ca<mailto:ilds at lists.uvic.ca>>
Subject: Re: [ilds] Somewhere between Calabria and Corfu the blue
really begins

Well, there are plenty of references to ships, islands, etc. No Corfu
though.

The book ends with: "clear immortal blue."

Did Larry read it? I leave it to you.

O, yes, the chief character is a man called Gissing.


W. L. Godshalk *
Department of English    *           *
University of Cincinnati*   * Stellar Disorder  *
OH 45221-0069 *  *
________________________________________
From: ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca<mailto:ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca> [ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca] On Behalf
Of Bruce Redwine [bredwine1968 at earthlink.net]
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 8:25 PM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca<mailto:ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Cc: Bruce Redwine
Subject: Re: [ilds] Somewhere between Calabria and Corfu the blue
really        begins

Does Morely's book have related subject matter, i.e., the Ionian or the
Aegean?  The next question:  any evidence that LD knew of this title?
I'm inclined to think it's a coincidence.


BR



On Sep 7, 2010, at 5:01 PM, Godshalk, William (godshawl) wrote:

"Where the Blue Begins" is a book by Christopher Morley published in
1922.

"Somewhere between Calabria and Corfu the blue really begins."

Is Durrell's "really" a reply and a correction?


W. L. Godshalk *
Department of English    *           *
University of Cincinnati*   * Stellar Disorder  *
OH 45221-0069 *  *





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