[ilds] Myths and Metaphors

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 31 09:32:59 PST 2011


I'm not perpetuating the myth — Lawrence G. Durrell is.  If you object to this portrayal of British architecture, then you should strenuously object to Durrell's lambasting of the English for their "English death."  That is a much bigger myth, as your "wonderful time" with the English girls suggests.  By the way, just what is the "English death?"  I read through The Black Book and could never find a clear statement of whatever LGD meant by it.  Clarity, however, is not something we should expect of our author.  The man lives for metaphors, and metaphors are not the clear statements of analytic philosophy (another English vice).


On Jan 31, 2011, at 8:55 AM, Marc Piel wrote:

> Bruce,
> Why perpetrate this Myth?
> British often put on the "outside architecture" 
> that you describe, but inside it is very different.
> I lived in Norht America for 4,5 years, and often 
> people would say to me "you must come to dinner 
> one night", but it was not until a week before I 
> left that we were really invited to dinner on 
> "Saturday night".
> I also lived in London for 1,5 years and had a 
> wonderful time with the english that I met.... 
> especially the girls....
> B.R.
> Marc
> Le 31/01/11 16:55, Bruce Redwine a écrit :
>> 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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