[ilds] Pastoral Literature

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 4 14:22:38 PST 2011


Yes to all your points.  The Renaissance was the great period of pastoral in English literature:  Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Milton, Marvell.  That fact seems overlooked when discussing Durrell's fascination with the Elizabethans, where the rambunctiousness of the period gets emphasized.  Pastoral is just the opposite.  When you think of it, when you look at Durrell in his 1960 photos at Mazet Michel, doesn't he looked like a rustic in his workman's shirt and jeans with turned-up cuffs?  He even has a guitar in place of a panpipe.  Not a put-on, I think.  R. W. is onto something.


On Mar 4, 2011, at 1:48 PM, Denise Tart & David Green wrote:

> Bruce, I like the idea of the island books being a kind of modern pastoral. I can see it: the poet and his friend amidst a rustic background discussing the great issues (Prospero's Cell particularly) and the philosophical peasants in place of the shepherds - 'where the shepherd is the artist and the goats make music with the wind' to quote RW Hedges. certainly a fair number of Larry's beloved Elizabethans wrote pastorals and this could have influenced him very much. Perhaps this explains the timeless unreality of Prospero's Cell - indeed much of Durrell's writing. To be honest the man is his own genre.
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