[ilds] "cracked and peeling cherubs on the ceiling"

Meta Cerar meta.cerar at guest.arnes.si
Mon May 16 06:01:02 PDT 2011

Thanks Charles, so glad to have contributed to your enjoyment and to the
>rediscovery< of the DL. 

I also enjoy the vivid debate on the list. 

Since you all enjoy the book, I am now more hopeful that it will find at
least a few grateful readers in Slovenia too.

And as we all agree that different male characters in the book are aspects
of LD himself and female characters of Nancy (although I'm not sure about
that), I wonder who was the model for the enigmatic Axelos, archaeologist
that is and is not . I don't think anything has been said about him yet.

Best regards




From: ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca [mailto:ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca] On
Behalf Of Charles Sligh
Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 5:23 AM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: [ilds] "cracked and peeling cherubs on the ceiling"


I am just back from The Dark Labyrinth, which I increasingly enjoyed as I
moved ahead.  

I was pleased to see that Campion shared memories of the self-same tawdry
room -- with its "cracked and peeling cherubs on the ceiling" -- in which
several other Durrellian characters in several other books all seemed to
have dosed while "entangled in long rich-smelling dark hair."  These books
are indeed "cherub-haunted."  Worth an accounting, worth a concordance.

I am trying an experiment with the penultimate chapter, "The Roof of the
World."  If I break off that chapter from the rest of The Dark Labyrinth,
reading it in isolation, as if the actual start was "Truman dragged his wife
clear of the chute of rocks and earth," I find that I have at hand an
intriguingly suggestive short story.  

A minotaur that is and is not.  A City in the Rock that is and is not.  A
miracle that is and is not.  A woman falling out of the sky into the sea. .
. .

Thank you, Meta.  You reminded me of something pleasurable that I had not


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