[ilds] Modern Bisexual Love and Beyond

Marc Piel marc at marcpiel.fr
Wed Jun 4 08:46:30 PDT 2014


What Lee is "really" saying is that there is a lot 
of conjecture, but nobody is coming up with any proof.
LD was obviously very clever is decoding what 
happened around him, that is why we all appreciate 
it so much. He saw that life was difficult and 
said so. So what? I have always found that when we 
think about ourselves, we think we are very 
different to others and in reality we are not, but 
just ordinary humans.
Surely LD wrote brilliantly about human things 
that many have difficulty with.
Salutations
Marc Piel

Le 03/06/14 22:16, Bruce Redwine a écrit :
> Let me be presumptuous.  I believe what we need 
> in Durrellian studies is a serious discussion of 
> issues of sexuality in his oeuvre (the "five 
> sexes" kind of thing and what that means, 
> exactly).  Why did Durrell choose this subject 
> matter --- "modern bisexuality?"  What motivated 
> him?  Was he simply doing a literary exercise? 
>  Is he expressing his own personal needs?  How 
> personal?  Why is there so much sex and violence 
> in the /Quartet?/ Why Pursewarden's suicide 
> (whom Durrell called his favorite character)? 
>  Was Durrell suicidal?  How much so?  This could 
> be extended to issues of plagiarism, 
> untruthfulness, and incest.  Lawrence G. Durrell 
> was very complicated, and I see little effort to 
> account for the relationship between Durrell the 
> man and Durrell the artist.  (Recall his final 
> words in the /Paris Review/ interview of 1960: 
>  "I find art easy.  I find life difficult.") 
>  Literary analysis, as usually approached, is 
> fine but doesn't seem to get to the core 
> problem, in my opinion --- i.e., why did he 
> "find life difficult?" --- which I take as an 
> honest confession.  Then there is the matter of 
> taking the man at his word elsewhere --- and he 
> was never at a loss for words, except when the 
> question got too personal.  I recall an 
> interview where he was asked why there was so 
> much violence in his work.  He didn't answer the 
> question but went off on one of his eloquent 
> diversions.  To their great credit, Ian MacNiven 
> and Michael Haag both point out, delicately or 
> not, Durrell's untrustworthiness.  My 
> inclination (or fault) is to work backwards from 
> the texts to the man.  Which, I assume, is not 
> generally taught in English Departments --- 
> indeed, it's strongly discouraged, to put it 
> mildly.  My inclination may bore others, but 
> I've stated my preferences.
>
> I take it Lee Sternthal (male I assume) has read 
> every word Durrell ever wrote, in every 
> published and unpublished work, in every letter, 
> and in every diary, notebook, or scrap of paper 
> in all the extant archives --- all that he has 
> read, so that he can now assert, "an 
> autobiographical writer who never wrote a word 
>  . . . "  My hat goes off for that major 
> accomplishment.  Of course, Durrell is "an 
> autobiographical writer," so he wrote a lot 
> about sexuality.  Critics have to decode what he 
> wrote.
>
> Bruce
>
>
>
> On Jun 3, 2014, at 9:13 AM, Lee Sternthal 
> <lasternthal at gmail.com 
> <mailto:lasternthal at gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>
>> Very, very thin, especially for someone who, in 
>> many ways, defined himself by his rebellion 
>> against convention.
>>
>> On Jun 3, 2014, at 8:37 AM, Bruce Redwine 
>> <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net 
>> <mailto:bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>> wrote:
>>
>>> Stranger things have happened.
>>>
>>>
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>
>>> On Jun 2, 2014, at 4:25 PM, Lee Sternthal 
>>> <lalexsternthal at gmail.com 
>>> <mailto:lalexsternthal at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> an autobiographical writer who never wrote a 
>>>> word about his own homosexual desire for 
>>>> anyone his entire life was in the closet?
>>>>
>>>> doesn't make sense.  sorry.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Jun 2, 2014, at 2:54 PM, Kennedy Gammage 
>>>> <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com 
>>>> <mailto:gammage.kennedy at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> That's a good point James. Nor do I think 
>>>>> F&F was solely concerned about suppressing 
>>>>> sales. Their editors may have been sensitive 
>>>>> to the fact that Durrell might be limiting 
>>>>> himself, referring to bisexuality within 
>>>>> what promised to be the four dimensional 
>>>>> scheme of the Quartet. In the end he created 
>>>>> characters who were heterosexual, 
>>>>> homosexual, bisexual, people 'wounded in 
>>>>> their sex'...cross-dressers like Scobie (a 
>>>>> beloved character who seems to me nothing 
>>>>> like the author!) Not to mention 
>>>>> brother-sister incest - in the Quartet, but 
>>>>> also in the Revolt and the Quintet too. 
>>>>> (Twice in the Quintet, right?)
>>>>>
>>>>> Once you go the Spacetime route the genie is 
>>>>> out of the bottle. No holds barred, the 
>>>>> sky's the limit!
>>>>>
>>>>> Cheers - Ken
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 1:39 PM, James 
>>>>> Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com 
>>>>> <mailto:james.d.gifford at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>     Let's not forget that the "modern love"
>>>>>     phrase was originally "bisexual love"
>>>>>     nor that the opening epigram from Freud
>>>>>     in /Justine/ has the "As for
>>>>>     bisexuality, I am sure you are right!"
>>>>>     removed by Fabers...
>>>>>
>>>>>     Best,
>>>>>     James
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>     On 2014-06-02, 11:46 AM, Bruce Redwine
>>>>>     wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>         As to the "nonsense bit," I would
>>>>>         say we're simply following Lawrence
>>>>>         Durrell's own manifesto in the
>>>>>         introduction to /Balthazar/ (1958):
>>>>>          "The
>>>>>
>>>>>         central topic of the book is an
>>>>>         investigation of modern love."  I don't
>>>>>         think the permutations of "modern
>>>>>         love" are nonsense.  Surely the author
>>>>>         himself must be included in such a
>>>>>         discussion.
>>>>>
>>>>>         Bruce
>>>>>
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