[ilds] Cefalû

Charles Sligh Charles-Sligh at utc.edu
Sun May 8 08:01:46 PDT 2011

On 5/8/11 10:30 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:

>     a kind of diversion from the actual

I think that is entirely a part of the method, Bruce.  The "actual" -- 
the Ideal of the Actual -- is the problem.

In a novel about forgeries, grand archaeological hoaxes, and other forms 
of fakery, it would seem naive to declare, "But this can't be true!"  No 
surprises here for careful readers of /The Alexandria Quartet/, I would 

I would think that this holds for "fiction" in general. Writers like 
Robert Browning, or Oscar Wilde, or William Gaddis, or Lawrence Durrell, 
or Thomas Pynchon all tend to foreground such questions of authenticity.

This exchange seems to the point:

    "Dicky, you're an expert -- you saw it."
    "Yes," said Graecen, with a startled and defensive air.  It alarmed
    him to be called an expert.
    "The sculpture I sent you for the Museum, and the relief -- would
    you pronounce them genuine?"
    "Of course," said Graecen.
    "They're not.  If Baird never found the temple when he operated from
    the labyrinth it was because it wasn't there. /I built it/."
    ("The Argument," /The Dark Labyrinth/)

Charles L. Sligh
Assistant Professor
Department of English
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
charles-sligh at utc.edu

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