[ilds] Forster on Durrell

Charles Sligh Charles-Sligh at utc.edu
Mon May 16 10:42:06 PDT 2011


On 5/16/11 12:29 PM, Bruce Redwine wrote:

>         The old man then unleashed a number of unkind words about
>         Durrell.  The gist of the tirade was that Forster thought
>         Durrell a sloppy writer and guilty of deplorable Romanticism
>         in his depiction of Alexandria[. . . .]

Interesting piece of apocrypha, Bruce.  Let us know if you can pin down 
the source.

I am afraid that the anecdote does little credit to Forster.  That old 
fellow comes off sounding like one hell of a Dowager Empress, a virtuous 
realist who outlived her epoch and crawled off to rest her bunions in 
the shelter of an exclusive and retrograde University Club.

The Cambridge school definitely held an opinion and passed it on.  "Oh, 
/Durrell/.  No, no, no, my dear Charles, one simply does not do 
/Durrell/."  (Cluck, cluck, /dearest/ chuck.)  Date stamp that one 1997, 
Charlottesville, Virginia, 3 floor, Bryan Hall.  But either Enright or 
Eagleton might have as easily tendered such a prissy dismissal.

In our better moments, we should be patient with these sorts of limits.  
Forster did better at one time.  He can be remembered for that.

Charles

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

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