[ilds] Durrell's Heritage

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Mon Feb 7 09:54:19 PST 2011

Interesting.  The Durrell-Miller species seems isolated and endangered, if not on the verge of extinction.  Perhaps it has, but I don't recall a serious discussion on the ILDS List as to exactly why Lawrence Durrell's reputation has declined so precipitously since his heyday in the early 1960s.  In the current issue of Deus Loci (2008-2009), Anne Zahlan has an article, a good one, "'Always Friday the Thirteenth':  The Knights Templar, Hersey, and History in Lawrence Durrell's The Avignon Quintet."  Her essay, in part, treats Durrell's postmodernist world, and she uses Brian McHale's Postmodernist Fiction (1987) as a critical source.  McHale has clout.  But no where in his survey of Postmodernism does he cite Lawrence Durrell.  I find this telling and indicative of Durrell's poor standing.  I don't know about today, but when I was taking English courses in the 70s and 80s, Lawrence Durrell was simply not discussed in the department and was not at all taken seriously.  Let's hope this will change, someday.


On Feb 7, 2011, at 7:35 AM, Rony Alfandary wrote:

> Thank you for this discussion. one of the chapters in my thesis concerns this - why has Durrell's reputation fallen over the years and STILL how come there is there wonderful group of people gathered here to ponder and celebrate his work?
> at one point I thought it had to do with the allegations regarding Sappho. but the decline began earlier.
> there is an Israeli scholar, Prof Lipskaer , who has written a lovely book regarding minor literature. not in the Deleuze-Guattarie sense but rather in terms of seeing the literature scene as an ecological system whereby many different authors (species) co-exist and support one another. 
> I think that such a view manages to rise above a competitive view of the question.
> Rony
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