[ilds] Durrell and Joyce

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Sun Feb 13 00:18:02 PST 2011

yes. I like the pictures of LD in jeans and short sleeved button down shirts; very workmanlike which is how he spoke of writing when he began to do it full time. he does not play the foppish artist ala Wilde but the man who cut wood and lives simply and builds his own stone walls - like Churchill (probably with drink nearby). there is great craft in the man, even in his own presentation.

Charles, the copy in Time Life mag that came with the photos had these interesting words:

'as for the setting of the book, the city of Alexandria, it is described in such rich and fantastic detail that most readers are convinced it is the actual city in Egypt rather than a splendiferous creation of the author's mind.'

a splendiferous creation of the author's mind.........why not?

There is to me always a dreamlike quality to LDs writing. it's real but not real. he rarely mentions dates. you never know quite when it is, was or ever shall be; like Shakespeare an eternal cosmos....................you enjoy the fruit but there is no clock on the wall.

David vin de Pays

From: Bruce Redwine 
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2011 9:06 AM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca 
Cc: Bruce Redwine 
Subject: Re: [ilds] Durrell and Joyce

Good distinction between Joyce and Durrell.  Joyce's Martello tower turns into a dazzling survey of Western literature.  Durrell's tower at the Ambron Villa becomes a view into a highly personal landscape.  Joyce is the great genius, of course, but he doesn't make you feel in the way that David relates about his reaction to Prospero's Cell.  Joyce in his natty jacket and straw hat, Durrell in his pair of jeans with turned-up cuffs. 


On Feb 12, 2011, at 11:12 AM, Ken Gammage wrote:

  After spending the last few nights revisiting Ulysses, I had some thoughts about these 20th century masters. Joyce truly is the uebermensch, as Mulligan described Joyce’s young alter ego – perched high above Dublin, omniscient, pulling all the strings. His vantage as the storyteller is detached and virtually Godlike, his concerns nothing less than “…immeasurably remote eons to infinitely remote futures…”

  Durrell on the other hand always seems to be the source of his own writing, the wellspring. Perhaps this is an effect of the Island books, where he told us what seemed to be his own story. Or maybe it’s just that we know the man so well. We see him in his kitchen with wine glasses and a guitar. We can practically hear his voice in everything he wrote.

  - Ken

  P.S. If Joyce was a poet, it’s chiefly of the “first he tickled her/then he patted her/then he passed the female catheter” variety.


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