[ilds] Durrell's Readings and Scholarship

Richard Pine rpinecorfu at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 6 02:19:11 PDT 2014

LD wrote 2 articles on Shakespeare, typically, unorthodox, paying respect to the established critics but not necessarily agreeing with them. (As with his essay 'Minor Mythologies' he would acknowledge critics, but then politely dissociate himself from their professional stance. The fact that he was himself a fine critic (cf. Key to Modern Poetry) is largely overlooked.) 
He was indeed working on a book on 'The Writer in the Elizabethan Age' and had a very extensive library of C16 texts, but it came to nothing. From his letters you'll see that he often asked Alan Thomas (who looked after his affairs in England) to 'send me my beloved Elizas' if he moved. Many f them were lost on life's journey, many of them quite probably here in Corfu, when he and Nancy left so much behind in their exodus in 1939

On Thursday, June 5, 2014 5:31 PM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:

Yes.  And it's also my sense that not only was Durrell's reading vast (esp. on primary sources), but he also seems to have digested and remembered everything.  Which is quite remarkable given his busy life.  I read somewhere that Harold Bloom is a speed reader (War and Peace goes down in a couple of hours) with a photographic memory.  Durrell seems to have been like that.  MacNiven says that his work on the Elizabethans was worthy of a Ph.D.  I wonder if that essay is in the form of notes or an actual MS.  That would be worth studying.  Durrell's memory may bear looking into.  If he remembered everything he read, then that may account for some of the plagiarism, that is, he integrated other writings into his work without realizing the source.  There's such a thing as information overload.


On Jun 5, 2014, at 2:22 AM, Richard Pine <rpinecorfu at yahoo.com> wrote:

We must try to account, in our readings of LD, for the fact that he was many men: as a poet, he saw the world as it was and as it might be; as a young man growing up in the inter-war years he wanted to stretch out and live a different life, yet his reading of Spengler (which partly prompted Tunc/Nunquam) told him otherwise. As a diplomat in both Eastern Europe and Cyprus he was well able to appreciate the strategies employed by the superpowers to manipulate our visions of the world..... He was so 'well read' (whatever that means - his reading was voracious and very extensive in so many areas) that he was able to incorporate into his mind and its outpourings the essences of Orientalism, psychology, buddhism, ... need I go on? And (pun intended) 'a beautiful mind' - capable of the white and the dark sides.
>And ... a writer in so many genres... 
>On Thursday, June 5, 2014 3:14 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:
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