[ilds] Possible Connection?

William Godshalk william.godshalk at gmail.com
Mon Feb 28 17:11:13 PST 2011


I use "overdetermined" to mean that Durrell has an overabundance of reasons
to feel as he feels -- including Blavatsky's The Voice of the Silence -- if
that's the tract to which you refer. Durrell seems to have been drawn to the
occult in all its facets.

On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 4:49 PM, Bruce Redwine
<bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>wrote:

> Overdetermined?  Sounds Freudian.  Possibly.  I'd stick to the Buddhist
> paradigm, though, where death is passage, reincarnation.  I might even say
> Durrell, in literature, has reincarnated his dead father as Mountolive, Sr.,
> as a Buddhist scholar. A nice example of filial piety.  Madras, by the way,
> was the HQ for Theosophy, a religion or philosophy Durrell knew something
> about from Miller, as evidenced in their letters.  Miller lists Blavatsky's
> tract as one of his 100 great books.
>
> Bruce
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Feb 28, 2011, at 1:13 PM, William Godshalk <william.godshalk at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> I wonder if Durrell's interest in the trauma of birth -- a monumental
> separation and abandonment -- is part of these other rejections -- death
> being the irrevocable one. His feelings of loss and regret are
> overdetermined.
>
> Bill
>
> On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 12:56 PM, Bruce Redwine <<bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>> Agreed.  The basic motive is autobiographical, i.e., the lost father in
>> India.  How LGD chose to depict that fact, however, seems based on other
>> factors.  For one, Mountolive, Sr. is alive, not dead and buried in India.
>>  For another, he's not a pedestrian engineer/businessman but turns into an
>> esoteric scholar living in a "Buddhist lodge near Madras." The latter is a
>> little like Fermor's father working for the Raj and pursing various hobbies
>> as an Edwardian naturalist. The Buddhist connection needs no explanation.
>>  Why Durrell chose Madras may be because some Pali texts were published in
>> that city of southeast India, a fact Durrell could have picked up during
>> research in Theosophy and Theravada Buddhism, assuming he did such.  Pali,
>> as I said before, is most closely associated with Ceylon/Sri Lanka, not far
>> from Madras.
>>
>>
>> Bruce
>>
>>
>>
>> On Feb 27, 2011, at 8:39 PM, Rony Alfandary wrote:
>>
>> > hi, Sound like  a very plausible interpretation. i can only add that I
>> would suspect that Durrell's decision to portray Mountolive a an abandoned
>> child is based upon his own experience, having been "abandoned" twice (at
>> least) by his father - once when being sent to England and the second time
>> when his father died.
>> > Rony
>>
>>
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>
>
> --
> W. L. Godshalk                 *
> Department of English *           *      *
> University of Cincinnati    *     stellar disorder *
> OH 45221-0069     *               *          *
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-- 
W. L. Godshalk                 *
Department of English *           *      *
University of Cincinnati    *     stellar disorder *
OH 45221-0069     *               *          *
godshawl at ucmail.uc.edu
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