[ilds] Durrell and Sex

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 4 09:16:16 PDT 2014

David, well said and well argued.  Thanks for the thoughtful response.  I find it difficult, however, to believe that Durrell was as scheming and savvy as you make him out to be.  But it may well be that the guy, who from an early age was determined to be a "great writer," plotted and planned his career in the way you describe.  I tend to think writers write from other compulsions besides the pursuit of fame and riches.  But that's entirely debatable.  In Mindscape (2005: 53), Pine emphasizes that Durrell mapped out his career in advance:  Agon (Black Book), Pathos ("Book of the Dead" > Quartet), and Anagnorisis (Quintet).  The Quartet had its genesis in his proposed "Book of the Dead."  This mapping process was obviously subject to revision, as Haag has shown in his recent article in DL explaining how Justine turned into a tetraology.  All this, however, is a good argument for a particular framework or architecture.  It is not an explanation of how the frame got its flesh, i.e., the nature of the substance that made the creature alive and breathing, so to speak.  It's the flesh that interests me — Durrell's compulsions.  Bisexuality, suicide, death, violence, incest — these themes or issues (and others) are repeated constantly.  They're obsessive.  Much as we talked about the architecture of the naos, Durrell's journey is from light to darkness and whatever the latter meant to him.  He may have wanted to get out of the labyrinth, but he ended up going back into the cave.


On Jun 3, 2014, at 8:42 PM, Denise Tart & David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:

> Regarding the current topic, which has inevitably drawn considerable comment, I felt it worth remembering lord Larry on Corfu as a young man who, according to his brother, was fascinated by the various and often bizarre sexual habits of animals and insects that Gerald collected. Elsewhere, he is described as sex mad. In his revolt against convention (pudding island) he established friendships with eccentric artistic types who sexual orientations were not always normal (whatever that is) and then in Egypt he is exposed to a head mix of people from all over the world in relatively unconstrained environment - wartime naughtiness for those far from home - musical beds and all kinds of stuff going on. Haag and I spoke about what a great source all this was for Larry's emerging creative landscape and the one that went into the AQ4 and, to an extent, the AQ5. On top of this is Larry's statement to Miller that he was going to right upper class porn. Now, the AQ is not porn buy there!
>  sure are many sexual orientations in there centred on three tenets: one, the authors personal fascination; two, what he observed around him in a very fertile environment and, three, the well know fact that sex sells and Durrell wanted to sell, he wanted to become a full time artist. The post war world, especially amongst the avant garde, were ready an exploration of modern love or at least a modern exploration of all the types of love that have always existed but have not always been written about as in the love that dare not speak it's name. The book put LD on literary map. His plan succeeded. He became an artist. It is possible to be fascinated by all manner of sexual forms but not indulge in them all, to not inhale as it were. I love mermaids but when I get near them, they disappear into the deep.
> David
> Sent from my iPad
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