[ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 86, Issue 22_Enright, Crete, India

Sumantra Nag sumantranag at gmail.com
Sun Jun 29 00:01:22 PDT 2014

I am responding to more than one post on the Digest List below, so I have
retained them in this reply. I have tried to clean up duplicated messages on
the Digest received by me. So I hope I am not blazing a trail of unnecessary
messages seen separately by the readers. Conscious of the bulk messages I
receive in the Digest, I usually delete all but the relevant Message in my
reply. This time I've retained the messages with relevance to my response.


1.      Bruce, interesting to read your commentary on D J Enright. I recall
that Enright also said in his review that he admired Durrell's poetry. 

2.      Crete is the only Greek island I have visited (June 2007) - for a
week in the company of my wife Sujata and our younger son Ambar (who was
actually bound for Paris but joined us en route in Crete where we had enough
accommodation at Hersonissos. We did a day trip to Santorini from Crete by
catamaran but that doesn't really count as a proper visit. I started The
Dark Labyrinth a long time ago, but didn't finish it. We visited Knossos in

3.      There are archaeological sites in India - I am familiar with one in
Delhi in whose visible proximity I spent my childhood and adolescence  -
where mythology and historical remains merge in the way that they have in
Knossos. But with difficulties in the organization of tourism in India, many
archaeological sites don't get the exposure that both the sites and the
tourists could gain from. Logistics over long distances within India and at
the sites need to be dealt with. Also the Archaeological Survey of India
feels the need to maintain control of sites, partly because excavations are
not always completed, and the archaeological finds need organized
protection. It' a complex matter I suppose . . . 





Today's Topics:


   1. D. J. Enright (Bruce Redwine)

   2. Call for articles (Sky Blue Press)

   3. Re: D. J. Enright (Richard Pine)

   4. Re: D. J. Enright (Bruce Redwine)

   5. The Cretan Connection (Denise Tart & David Green)

   6. Re: The Cretan Connection (Richard Pine)

   7. Re: The Cretan Connection (Bruce Redwine)

   8. Re: The Cretan Connection (William Apt)





Message: 1

Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2014 11:26:43 -0700

From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>

To: Durrell list <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>

Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>

Subject: [ilds] D. J. Enright

Message-ID: <475B3AFB-5D3C-421A-9F15-014C4D806743 at earthlink.net>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"


Sumantra, glad you brought up D. J. Enright (1920-2002).  He should be
remembered ? in his own right and also because his life is the obverse of L.
G. Durrell?s.  Both were men of letters:  poets and novelists.  Their paths
were similar but never crossed.  Durrell claimed he failed the entrance
exams to Cambridge.  Enright obtained a degree at Downing College,
Cambridge, and was associated with F. R. Leavis, who taught at Downing.  DJE
and LGD lived in Alexandria, at different times, and wrote very different
novels about the city.  Enright obtained a Ph.D. at Farouk I University in
Alexandria, where he defended his thesis on Goethe in French.  He later
revised the Modern Library translation of Proust?s In Search of Lost Time.
In The Quartet, Durrell talks about the East and its charms, sensual and
philosophical.  Enright lived much of his life there (Thailand, Japan,
Singapore) and indulged similar interests, opium among them but kept up his
passion for Virgil?s Eclogues.  !

He was Professor of English at the University of Singapore and was kicked
out of the country for acerbic opinions about the city state that would have
made Ludwig Pursewarden proud.  That tale is retold in his Memoirs of a
Mendicant Professor (1969).  Oxford published his Collected Poems in 1998,
favorably reviewed by Helen Vendler.  Although a Romantic in his travels,
Enright was not a Romantic when it came to Egypt.  In ?Why the East Is
Inscrutable? (Alexandria, 1948), he writes, ?Sometimes the East is too hot /
To be scrutable . . . Wait for winter, / Mildly trying, meanwhile, not to
make / Too many enemies.?  Durrell restricted such comments to his letters.
Would Durrell have made Enright?s enemies list?  Maybe.  His opinions of
Durrell are not flattering.  As Sumantra notes, Enright's review of The
Quartet, ?Alexandrian Nights? Entertainments,? is largely negative.  Enright
concludes:  ?When Durrell is good he is very good, and when he is bad he is
horrid.?  A good La!

tinist, he places emphasis at the end.  Which of the two will endure longer?
Durrell, undoubtedly.  But Enright has his place.







Message: 3

Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:03:36 -0700

From: Richard Pine <rpinecorfu at yahoo.com>

To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca

Subject: Re: [ilds] D. J. Enright


<1403906616.98693.YahooMailBasic at web120802.mail.ne1.yahoo.com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8


Two unrelated points - I don't have my copy of 'Academic Year' to hand, but
isn't there an unpleasant reference to an LD-type character - as there is
said to be in Olivia Manning?

And, don't rely too much on Helen Vendler as a critic - she once said a
lecture of mine was brilliant - which it wasn't.




Message: 4

Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:28:11 -0700

From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>

To: "ilds at lists.uvic.ca" <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>

Subject: Re: [ilds] D. J. Enright

Message-ID: <26EA8DEC-1FE7-4110-9746-11AAFF553002 at earthlink.net>

Content-Type: text/plain;            charset=utf-8




I do not recall allusions to Durrell and Manning in Enright's Academic Year,
but that sounds like just the sort of thing he would do.  Enright was
wicked, like his mentor,  F. R. Leavis.  As to Helen Vendler, she's probably
the preeminent critic of Anglo-American poetry in American academia.  You're
too modest.




Sent from my iPhone




Message: 5

Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2014 11:38:15 +1000

From: "Denise Tart & David Green" <dtart at bigpond.net.au>

To: "Durrel" <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>

Subject: [ilds] The Cretan Connection

Message-ID: <8B874C146F804827ABEEDF2377D412B8 at DenisePC>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"


Reading Artemis Coopers story of PLF's time on Crete during the war, one can
see where LGD got much his stuff for Dark Labyrinth: the British officer
traumatized by having to kill a captive German soldier, the mountainous
uplands, the caves that beasts fell into and left their bones. He must have
read Paddy's accounts and of course saw him at times during time in Egypt.
Dark Labyrinth came out before any of Paddy's books (1947) so I guess, for
an emerging author and press officer with contacts, including Paddy, the
stories of the day were up for grabs, but the way Larry works other people's
stuff into his own material is uncanny. When I read of PLFs adventures on
Crete, including the famous capture of the German General, I felt as if I
had read it before...I had in way.

Dark Labyrinth is an underrated work. Durrell's chapter on Crete in the
Greek Islands is also well worth a read. No English writer writes about
Greece as he does, but I am very keen to read some Leigh Fermor now.




16 William Street

Marrickville NSW 2204

+61 2 9564 6165

0412 707 625

 <http://www.denisetart.com.au> www.denisetart.com.au



Message: 6

Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2014 02:22:32 -0700

From: Richard Pine <rpinecorfu at yahoo.com>

To: Denise Tart & David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au>,

                ilds at lists.uvic.ca

Subject: Re: [ilds] The Cretan Connection


<1403947352.44750.YahooMailBasic at web120804.mail.ne1.yahoo.com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1


That's a very valuable observation - how much LD and PLF may have discussed
the latter;s Cretan experiences needs to be researched. Of course  LD did
write the preface to Theo Stephanides' account of his (TS's) Cretan




Message: 7

Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2014 08:30:34 -0700

From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>

To: David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au>, ilds at lists.uvic.ca

Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [ilds] The Cretan Connection

Message-ID: <60DB0D62-096D-4E8D-B8D7-013E061B1141 at earthlink.net>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"




Durrell is a great storyteller, one of his tremendous gifts.  But, as you
point out, his source material often seems to have been other people's
stories ? not his own travels and experiences.  This is quite evident in The
Greek Islands (1978).  The section on Crete appears to have been largely
invented or borrowed.  His diversions, however, are all his own ? note the
criticism of "monotheism and monosexuality" on p. 64 of Islands.





Message: 8

Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2014 12:25:30 -0500

From: William Apt <billyapt at gmail.com>

To: Denise Tart & David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au>,

                "ilds at lists.uvic.ca" <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>

Subject: Re: [ilds] The Cretan Connection

Message-ID: <082667C3-EFCD-4160-ACC5-82022A085319 at gmail.com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"


I noticed few years ago the striking similarity between LD's description of
Montolive's absentee father in India and Patrick Leigh Fermor's own
experience: his father, too, remained in India apart from the mother. Both
fathers were mysterious, exotic characters, wondered over by the abandoned
sons. Unlike LD's experience, however, Montolive's father and PLF's father
had no longing to return to England and, as I recall, never did return,
permanently. So, while this is speculation on my part, it may be yet another
example of LG borrowing from the life story of another. 



Attorney at Law

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