[ilds] dark labyrinth

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Mon Jan 31 08:13:46 PST 2011

I think that's exactly the sense of the paragraph in the book -- Campion 
is upset his art isn't appreciated, hence he strikes out at English 
character rather than his own Draught-less drawings...  The sexual 
reference follows in the next paragraph.

"Cold air" is certainly the meaning here.  The OED isn't exact in this, 
but my sense is that the "draught" spelling would be contemporary for 
beer or wind currents but would be archaic for a drawing.  "Draft" is 
the only spelling given in my OED for drawings since the 18th century. 
The OED notes "the spelling draft n. (q.v.) now established in some 
senses" of which drawing seems to be the prime example, as well as 
withdrawing funds or compelling.  It's a typical Durrell wordplay 
though, generating confusion whenever possible...


On 31/01/11 7:55 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
> Meta,
> I take "Draught" to mean air, i.e., a "current of /cold/ air." English
> buildings, particularly houses and flats, are not well designed, so they
> let in the cold easily. How does this transfer to English character?
> Well, Durrell is being cute, I think, being funny. In the context of
> "the English death," however, Durrell may mean that his fellow
> countrymen are inherently "cold," i.e., emotionally frigid and
> unresponsive, sexually repressed, probably, unlike the warm-blooded
> people of the Mediterranean, who express their feelings readily and
> openly, especially in the sexual sense. That's my guess.
> Bruce
> On Jan 31, 2011, at 6:50 AM, Meta Cerar wrote:
>> Hello, everyone,
>> My sincerest thanks to everyone who responded to my post about the
>> Dark Labyrinth and supplied me with lots of useful articles. I haven't
>> had time to read them yet as I'm just finishing the translation
>> revision. Although I have gone through the text a couple of times, I'm
>> still at a loss with a few sentences. Perhaps you can help me with
>> suggestions.
>> There is a sentence in the chapter /Portraits/ where Campion is
>> complaining about The English not being able to appreciate artists. I
>> quote:
>> *English architecture, like the English character, is founded on the
>> Draught.*
>> I compared three translations of D.L. – French, Italian and German –
>> and they're all different. The French translate Draught as dessin
>> (drawing), Italians as rigidity, Germans as Zug (stroke?
>> Draughtiness?). My friend, himself an English writer, suggests »hard
>> work« or perhaps »draught as current of air«. How can nation's
>> character be founded on drawing, hard work, draughtiness …?
>> I'm a bit desperate about this one, so I could use a few suggestions.
>> It's interesting to read translations of the same book into different
>> languages – worth a comparative study, really. Sometimes it's hard to
>> believe it's the same book.
>> Thank you and all best,
>> Meta Cerar
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