[ilds] thank you

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Sun Mar 20 23:57:01 PDT 2011


Hi Rony,

It's worth noting that many of Durrell's ms./ts. letters at various 
archives relate to books lent but not returned, in particular books lent 
to Alf Perlès (and probably sold by him)...  My guess is that LD had the 
1954 Freud/Fliess, lent and/or lost it, then reacquired the 1960 prior 
to the release of the Quartet as a whole.  He certainly had it in one 
form or another, and perhaps one of the English translations will match 
the epigram (I still think the 1954 does, but I don't have it ready to 
hand).  Durrell's annotated Groddeck volumes had legs too, walking off 
to all and sundry.

I'm quite sure Michael Haag had noted on this listerv that the 
censorship of the "bisexuality" from the epigram was Faber's work, not 
Durrell's, and the same occurred for the "modern love," which was 
originally "bisexual love."  Keeping those two points in mind from the 
epigram and the "investigation of modern love" certainly revises the 
nature of the Quartet significantly.  In the opening pages, Cavafy and 
Balthazar go looking of the young boys, and then the anonymous Darley 
and his ungendered and unnamed lover go walking about for several 
sentences before she is finally revealed as female and subsequently as 
Melissa.

For LD's works, the openness to various forms of sexualities seems to be 
present from /Pied Piper/ forward, despite the homophobic jokes in /The 
Black Book/ (there's still a very good deal of privileging some kind of 
fluidity in sexual identity in that book as well as some intriguing 
notions of discovering sexuality over time).  I think the ideas 
solidified around notions of subjectivity just after the Quartet, hence 
the peculiarities about identify in /Revolt/ and later in the /Quintet/.

If you dig anything up on the 1954 copy, please let us know.  I 
photocopied it somewhere during my graduate work, but I think it's all 
in a storage locker now...  I'm sure the rest of the list would be 
interested in whatever you uncover.

Best,
James

On 20/03/11 10:33 PM, Rony Alfandary wrote:
> Thank you James and Marc,
> yes, that does explain the date issue. curious that the original
> 1954 edition was not found but was replaced by Durrell himself, I
> suppose, by a later edition. He gave it to someone who never returned
> it? lost on transition? but still, it was clearly important for him to
> have a copy in his library so he bought a later edition.
> what is also fascinating is the censorship he exercised in the
> quotation, omitting the bi-sexuality theme. but that you already know,
> of course.
> thanks for your help,
> Rony
>
>
>
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