[ilds] Fermor and Durrell

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Sat Jun 14 22:56:30 PDT 2014


On 2014-06-14, 7:09 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
> The next thing is to ask, what was wrong with him?

I see why you're driving at with this, but shouldn't we also add, 
"what's wrong with all of us?"  If we were all happy or well-adjusted, 
would we need art, either to create or appreciate?

I'd need to look it up, but I seem to recall from Durrell's poetry a 
phrase near to "and make of his suffering an art" -- perhaps someone can 
correct me.  Was it an epigram?  Was it a paraphrase or quotation?

Rather than "wrong," I'd be more inclined to ask how he was mal-adapted, 
or perhaps ask where he struggled the most against this world and his 
situation in it.  I'd also tend to emphasize Durrell's 
self-consciousness about his problem -- he resisted analysis because he 
felt it could dry up his creative source, and for the luxuriant and 
sexually overflowing Alexandria, we are reminded "No one would mistake 
it for a happy place."  I think there was a good deal of awareness of 
this tension within himself, just not a solution.

Best,
James


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