[ilds] Cefalû

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Sun May 8 08:34:12 PDT 2011


Charles,

I agree.  Good example from the novel — that shows how well formed it is.  A well-wrought urn?  No doubt Durrell deals with the problem of actuality in various ways.  Most of the authors I hear interviewed readily admit there's a fine line between fiction and reality.  Fiction is often based on personal experience — how can it be otherwise?  The big exception being Shakespeare, whose range boggles and makes one wonder how he knew so much.  Hence all the attempts to find the "real" Shakespeare, someone other than the one buried in Stratford-on-Avon.  In Durrell case, however, he seems to have special uses for this process, very personal ones, driven by his own needs.


Bruce


On May 8, 2011, at 8:01 AM, Charles Sligh wrote:

> 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 think.
> 
> 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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