[ilds] private kingdoms

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Tue May 17 11:35:55 PDT 2011


Thanks for mentioning Plato's Parmenides.  I'd forgotten about it.  This reference or allusion opens up a couple of very interesting questions.  I confess that I haven't read this dialogue, mainly because of its great difficulty, which the narrator seems to refer to — "'What the hell is the meaning of it all, anyway?'  His father had given him the Parmenides for a birthday present" (p. 47).  That question ("What the hell . . . ") scholars have been asking for a couple of thousand years.  Secondary sources tell us that The Parmenides deals with proving and questioning Platonic forms.  But the dialogue does not come to a resolution and does not solve the problem.  Platonic forms deal with the nature of reality — that's surely what interested Durrell, a question he asks himself before he stares into the Ionian pool at the shrine of Saint Arsenius (Prospero's Cell, pp. 15-16).  So, had Durrell read The Parmenides?  Also, is the allusion meant to refer to Eastern Thought or Mysticism, which some philosophers see imbedded in Plato's philosophy?  I would answer the latter positively — that's Durrell's natural tendency.


On May 17, 2011, at 9:29 AM, Marc Piel wrote:

> I couldn't help myself thinking there were little bits of LD in all the main characters and especially in "Roof of the World". Is the message not that there was no way out physically, but that once you had been there there was no way out (back) mentally? Interesting also that John had been given "Parmenides" by his father as a birthday present. Tell me if I am wrong: is not Parmenides about different possible truths? Although he does say a few things that fit, for me Campion is the least like LD, ... and when finally he doesn't know how to swim!
> B.R.
> Marc
> Le 17/05/11 09:44, Denise Tart & David Green a écrit :
>> I was thinking today about texts in context. It it easy to suggest that after the Depression, the rise of Fascism and the World War Two that artists would contemplate a world without such horrors - an idylic Rhodes, a rebirth of soul life on Crete after the Dark Labyrinth or war, the utopia of the Roof of the World or indeed the speculative calm of the monastery enjoyed by Baird, Graecen, Alexros?
>> Durrell always sort islands of existence, actual or constructed not as a totality of experience but as a place to be from and to return to. The Roof of the World chapter has a scariness to it because they cannot get out. The way back is closed. It is quite disturbing in this way. Just as well Truman likes his wife..
>> Durrell could not have stood this for himself.  He liked to visit and be be visited.
>> David
>> 16 William Street
>> Marrickville NSW 2204
>> + 61 2 9564 6165
>> 0412 707 625
>> www.denisetart.com.au

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