[ilds] "urgent things in little squirts"

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Sun May 8 13:28:41 PDT 2011

Charles, I dont think this is one of those lines, but it made me laugh a good deal when I read it last night - the bit in bold italics: so upper class and British

"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 cult of the amateur and all that...

Good challenge though. there are some fine lines in Roof of the World. Durrell is not always genuine when writing to Miller. I think he runs the book down because he did not think Miller would think it serious enough or vulgar enough, if you like. false modesty, I reckon as DL is a well planned and well structured book with some truly memorable characters. It is also funny, something much overlooked in the study of LGD.


From: Charles Sligh 
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2011 2:17 AM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca 
Subject: [ilds] "urgent things in little squirts"

>From the letters to Miller:

  "I have deliberately chosen a cheap novel formula and am trying to say urgent things in little squirts through the seven or so people involved.  A rotten book with some small lucid moments and one or two good lines."  [LD ot HM, c. October 1945]

I rather like reading epigrams, obiter dicta, urgent "squirts," and "character-squeezes."   I sometimes wonder if those may be some of Lawrence Durrell's key modes?  Part of the shift away from "novel" to notebook?  

I will be awarding a prize to the careful reader who successively locates the "one or two good lines."  


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


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