[ilds] DURRELL, MILLER, ANARCHISM AND HERALDIC UNIVERSES

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 18 11:20:12 PDT 2011


James,

You probably have a different take on this, but I'm thinking of Durrell's famous letter to Miller (ca August 1936).  Namely, Durrell's statement:  "Art nowadays is going to be real art, as before the flood.  IT IS GOING TO BE PROPHECY, in the biblical sense.  What I propose to do, with all deadly solemnity, is to create my HERALDIC UNIVERSE quite alone."

Durrell sounds as though he thinks he's doing something new.  I don't think so, certainly not in the context of his immediate predecessors, the High Moderns.  Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Joyce — weren't they all vatic poets and writers?  Didn't they all claim to be creating new mythologies and taking on the role of prophets of some new religion of art?  So, I don't see Durrell's claim as radical as he seems to think.  Unless, and here's the catch, unless he thinks his own personal contribution is unique — and here is where I'd argue his "Heraldic Universe" is some variant on Taoism.  All this I've presented before.

So what's your take?


Bruce



On Jul 17, 2011, at 1:12 PM, James Gifford wrote:

> Hi Bruce,
> 
> I'm interested in this bit:
> 
> On 17/07/11 9:52 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
>> But "herald in" supports Durrell's own statements
>> about prophecy.
> 
> Where does that lead you?  I'm curious.  Prophecy pops up a lot at this 
> time (late 30s, early 40s), so I wonder how you'd grow the notion.
> 
> -James
> 




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