[ilds] "the BBC bohemia"

Godshalk, William (godshawl) godshawl at ucmail.uc.edu
Fri Aug 31 08:17:20 PDT 2012

W. L. Godshalk *
Department of English    *           *
University of Cincinnati*   * Stellar Disorder  *
OH 45221-0069 *  *
From: ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca [ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca] on behalf of James Gifford [odos.fanourios at gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2010 1:20 PM
To: Charles-Sligh at utc.edu; ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] "the BBC bohemia"

Hi all,

I've failed in my new year's resolution to write more and work less,
but still, I thought I could add to this discussion of Dylan Thomas.
He and Durrell had a good correspondence, though the dating on it is
generally quite poor.  I've taught them together several times in
first year English courses -- anyone who wants it is welcome to my

I've tried to sort the dating of the Durrell-Thomas relationship, but
much of it is still sketchy -- it's only when the published materials
are cross-referenced that a reliable dating emerges, and none of the
printed correspondences are accurate with dating:

Gifford, James. “The Poets of The Booster, Delta, and Seven, 1937-40:
Recuperating Literary Networks.” /ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short
Articles, Notes, and Reviews/ 22.3 (Summer 2009): 42-47.

---. “Surrealism’s Anglo-American Afterlife: The Herbert Read and
Henry Miller Network.” /Nexus: The International Henry Miller Journal/
5 (2008): 36-64.

---. “Durrell’s Delta and Dylan Thomas’ ‘Prologue to an Adventure.’”
/In-between: Studies in Literary Criticism/ 13.1 (2004): 19-23.

Keery, James. “The Burning Baby and the Bathwater.” /PN Review/ 31.6
(2005): 57-61.

Sorry to plug myself, but there isn't much out there.  I included
information in the Prefaces to /Panic Spring/ and /Pied Piper of
Lovers/ as well, just to round out the literary network of the 30s.
Durrell and Miller published Thomas' short story "Prologue to an
Adventure" in /Delta/ (and given Miller's letters to James Cooney,
it's pretty clear Durrell was the driving force), and that's the final
revision to the text.  Instead, the earlier version from /Wales/
(typos and all) has become the standard version in the Thomas
collected works.  Durrell and Thomas overlapped in literary venues as
well -- find any Durrell poetry from the 1940s and you'll find Thomas
either a few pages away or in the next issue...

I've just taught /Pied/ and /Panic/ in the same week for different
courses, and the /Panic Spring/ students skipped the first half of
class to attend a guest lecture by Fredric Jameson (and a good one at
that).  I was astounded by how they responded to the novel in that
context (while wrapping up Woolf's /Jacob's Room/ on the same day).
Consensus seemed to be that Durrell was more experimental than Woolf,
and the novel could bear up well under the radically materialist
vision Jameson granted of modernity and postmodernity.  Moreover, I
think the students were right to take the novel up with that much

I have no battlefields out of my window.  The cherry trees are in
bloom and the ancient cedars remind me this city hasn't been here

Back to marking...


On 14 March 2010 08:04, Charles Sligh <Charles-Sligh at utc.edu> wrote:
> Denise Tart & David Green wrote:
>> Good post Charles. I imagine Dylan Thomas visited all those pubs and more.
>> Have been teaching Dylan Thomas to my Year 11s and, apart from the fact that
>> they love his poetry (even if they dont always get it), I have plugged LD
>> too. In the the context of oxymorons I wrote up "the moon's cool fevers
>> burn" from Bitter Lemons and connected it to Wintry Fever from the Force
>> That... well, we had quite a discussion from there and now a new generation
>> of young Aussies have heard of Lawrence Durrell - and not the Durrell who
>> wrote My Family etc.
>> cheers Charles and please tell me if the Battle of Chattanooga battle field
>> is visible from your office window - although I am worried - maybe you are a
>> Confederate in the Attic?????
> I am glad that you enjoyed the piece, David.
> Your note about pub-life helped me to recall the great
> meeting-that-was-not, when Nancy and Larry Durrell tried to host a
> gathering for Henry Miller and Dylan Thomas--cf. MacNiven 206+.
> As for the rest, certain things I cannot deny--My office faces upon a
> Civil War cemetery, our house is on the back side of Missionary Ridge,
> and we live 20 minutes north of Chickamauga.
> C&c.
> --
> ********************************************
> Charles L. Sligh
> Assistant Professor
> Department of English
> University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
> charles-sligh at utc.edu
> ********************************************
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James Gifford, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English and University Core Director
School of English, Philosophy and Humanities
University College: Arts, Sciences, Professional Studies
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Vancouver Campus
Voice: 604-648-4476
Fax: 604-648-4489
E-mail: gifford at fdu.edu

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V6B 2P6 Canada

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