[ilds] two-fisted what?

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 2 15:26:02 PST 2011


Grove,

I think T. S. Eliot was throwing out an opinion which was ill-considered and has not been borne out by time.  As evidence of his fallibility, Eliot didn't think much of the English Romantics, Shelley in particular, and criticized Hamlet for lack of an "objective correlative," considering it "an artistic failure."  Great poets don't always make great critics.


Bruce



On Feb 2, 2011, at 2:17 PM, gkoger at mindspring.com wrote:

> Since we're throwing around opinions, I guess I'll weigh in.
>  
> Although the recent republication of Durrell's first two novels makes the line of his development a little clearer, The Black Book still reads to me today like a marvellous debut. I wish I could summon a tenth of its intelligence, verbal exhuberance, and just plain energy. I find T.S. Eliot's comments (taken from Ian's biography) on the book both accurate and prescient:
>  
> "Lawrence Durrell's The black book is the first piece of work by a new English writer to give me any hope for the future of prose fiction. If he has been influenced by any writers of my generation, the influences have been digested, and he has produced something different. One test of the book's quality, for me, is the way in which reminiscences of it keep turning up in my mind: evocations of South London or of the Adriatic, or of individual characters. What is still more unusual is the sense of pattern and organisation of moods which emerges gradually during the reading, and remains in the mind afterwards. The black book is not a scrap-book, but a carefully executed whole. There is nothing of the second-hand literary about the material; but what is most unusual is the structure the author has made of it."
>  
> What does everyone else think?
>  
> Grove
> -----Original Message----- 
> From: Bruce Redwine 
> Sent: Feb 2, 2011 1:05 PM 
> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca 
> Cc: Bruce Redwine 
> Subject: Re: [ilds] two-fisted what? 
> 
> Bill,
> 
> Yes, it's hard to make sense of the whole book, for me anyway.  To be frank, I find Durrell's "attack," if such, a lot of rather cheap shots at his literary predecessors:  Keats and Shelley, two that I picked up on.  A respected scholar of LD tells me that I'm wrongheaded and have this completely wrong.  I think not.  So, I guess you're saying that the Lawrence Durrell of The Black Book was full of hot air, which was my original contention.
> 
> 
> Bruce
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Feb 2, 2011, at 11:14 AM, William Godshalk wrote:
> 
>> Durrell asks his reader to "recognize [the book] for what it is:  a two-fisted attack on literature by an angry young man of the thirties."
>> 
>> And I respond: it doesn't seem very two-fisted to me. More like pudding than like a few rounds of literary combat.
>> 
>> Bill 
>> 
> 

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