[ilds] The Dark Labyrinth

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Thu May 5 14:03:49 PDT 2011


All along I have been saying The Dark Labyrinth is a remarkable work and deserving full recognition of its accomplishment.  I am not willing, however, to take Richard Pine's injunction and to stop "extra-textual considerations."  Pine should step forward and explain exactly what he means.


On May 5, 2011, at 1:35 PM, Charles Sligh wrote:

> On 5/5/11 1:23 PM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
>> "Free of jargon, free of extra-textual considerations, free of critical prejudice" — now what does all that sound and fury mean?  I guess it means that all discussion should end, and we should all sit around the campfire and sing the praises of LGD and say how much we enjoy everything he writes.  Not much of a critical discussion, in my opinion.
> I will let Richard speak for Richard, Bruce.  
> Richard, Meta, and Laura are all advocates for The Dark Labyrinth.  If I understand your previous notes, Bruce -- and it is possible that I have not understood them at all -- I think that you are also an advocate for The Dark Labyrinth.  Good enough.
> When I read his note, I thought that Richard was making an observation about the peculiar fashions and politics that have made critics dismissive of certain works -- or, in certain cases I could cite, all works -- by Lawrence Durrell.  Richard disagrees with such terms.  They frame the discussion in such a way as to exclude a writer or a work that does not fit arbitrary measures, and they often labor to ulterior purposes, political or moral ends resting somewhere beyond the writer or work at hand.  
> I think that I might be somewhere close to Richard on this point.  That is, within my admittedly subjective limits of attention, understanding, and enthusiasm, I try to give myself over to each literary work for its own sake, for the sake of experiencing its own particular, distinctive pleasures.  This liberty of the heart and mind brings me a keen enjoyment.  (I fancy that Lawrence Durrell taught me how -- my thanks!)  It also is an education in humility, reminding me that I must learn so very very much on this short day of frost and sun. . . .  
> Good luck to all of you with this reconsideration of an overlooked book.  Since facts do matter, I hope that someone who is interested in this topic will share specific quotes from critics who have written dismissively or disparagingly about The Dark Labyrinth.  I can't name a single one.  But then all of this is an education for me!  Remember, lack of critical attention is not, by itself, dismissive.  The limits of page allotments, the vagaries of publishers and editors, and an ignorance of unheralded virtue might just as easily explain the lack of address.  
> Charles
> -- 
> ********************************************
> Charles L. Sligh
> Assistant Professor
> Department of English
> University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
> charles-sligh at utc.edu
> ********************************************

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