[ilds] Fair enough Lee

Lee Sternthal lalexsternthal at gmail.com
Sat Jun 7 14:01:22 PDT 2014


I don't think it's controversial or outlandish.  I would have no problem with it.  I mean who cares?  It's an old story.  I just think there would be proof, either in his own journals/correspondence, or from friends, loves, enemies, etc.  (at least rumor.)  As far as I understand nothing has ever turned up while he was alive or dead in this regard.  That can't simply be ignored because it's a "boring reading."  But it can be amended if something were to pop up.  How useful it would be to the meaning of the actual work would be up to the reader, to me not so much, but I get it.  I just wish people would bring the same rigor to biographical gossip as they do to theory, but that too would be boring, I suppose.

-L



> On Jun 7, 2014, at 8:40 AM, Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Excellent. I appreciate you hearing me out on this. Again, this is just my opinion as a long-time Durrell fan and fan of the listserv. (As you know, this listserv really just ‘came back to life’ a few weeks ago after being moribund for some time – but when I first became aware of it and signed-up 6 years ago it was very important to me and something of a lifesaver, because I was under a lot of stress at a job I didn’t like and it gave me an outlet to talk with and listen to a lot of very bright people who shared my love of Durrell.)
> 
> OK – enough about me. I will quickly state my theory in a few bullet points and log-off:
> 
> •	We love Durrell and his writings, but acknowledge his darker side: that he could be an ugly drunk and a wife beater
> •	Some of us wonder at the psychology behind that, and have over time developed theories
> •	One of these theories, which I do not necessarily endorse, is this ‘Repressed Durrell’ theory which has been so controversial recently
> •	I think it has been so very controversial because people didn’t understand where it was coming from, or why it was proposed. In other words, there was insufficient set-up for it.
> •	I was an English major in college, not a psychology major – and I tilt more to Jung than Freud
> •	Nevertheless, I think this ‘Repressed Durrell’ theory would be much more palatable if it were couched in Freudian terms. After all, Durrell must have been very interested in the subject since Freud is an offstage character in the Avignon Quintet
> 
> OK – that’s all I’ve got for now. Have a great weekend.
> 
> - Ken
> 
> 
> 
>> On Sat, Jun 7, 2014 at 12:05 AM, Lee Sternthal <lalexsternthal at gmail.com> wrote:
>> By all means.  Thanks.  Btw, I think I might be a subscriber for longer; I do believe I joined in its earliest stages, though I've mostly been a silent observer. W -LS
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> > On Jun 6, 2014, at 4:16 PM, Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > Let’s try to dial this back. I recognized your name – I’ve been on the list for a long time too, maybe not 7 years but at least 5 or 6…
>> >
>> > This has been a nasty flame war, but there have been flare-ups in the past. We can get through this.
>> >
>> > I think I can understand both sides. In my experience most arguments turn out to be based on semantics, or misunderstandings. There is always common ground – like the fact that we are all fans of the writings of Lawrence Durrell.
>> >
>> > We all like the writings – and I think we all like the man. We would like to have a glass of wine with him and chat.
>> >
>> > But of course he also had a dark side – if you’ve read the biographies, or heard stories about him.
>> >
>> > He could be charming – but he could have too much to drink and things could get ugly. I think any of us who drink may wince with bad memories of our own behavior.
>> >
>> > However, things got darker than that sometimes. I’m not talking about incest – because there is no proof it happened, and I don’t think it did. But Durrell could be cruel, and a bad dad – saying ugly things upon occasion.
>> >
>> > No – I’m talking about hitting his wives. As far as I know, according to Bowker and others, this did happen.
>> >
>> > Now, Durrell is not the only beloved artist to do this. All of us have flaws – but this is a bad flaw!
>> >
>> > Maybe I should stop here – just to see if you are on board with me so far. Because if you are, then maybe I can explain a little further the roots of what caused our recent unfortunate dust-up on the listserv. In my opinion.
>> >
>> > Thanks - Ken
>> >
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