[ilds] The Index to Prospero's Cell

Marc Piel marc at marcpiel.fr
Wed Jul 23 11:35:32 PDT 2014


Three simple questions!
I wonder who is kidding who?
As an author can you really target peasants?
Do peasants read books?
B.R.
Marc

Le 23/07/14 18:49, James Gifford a écrit :
> On 2014-07-22, 3:51 PM, Denise Tart & David 
> Green wrote:
>> the way peasants feature prominently in 
>> Durrell's books
>> deserves exploration; he identified with them 
>> in someway
>
> It's worth articulating Durrell as an author 
> writing for a readership of which he was not a 
> part...  I'm regularly struck by just how 
> radical many of his closest friends were.  The 
> aristocracy and educated elite are certainly 
> there, and they are certainly a part of his 
> readership -- Durrell, as you say, was not 
> writing for Orwell's coal miners, but then 
> again, neither was Orwell.
>
> Durrell was an outsider in the public school 
> system and never went to university, not even a 
> polytechnic.  His diplomatic service kept him in 
> a particular crowd, but his most sustained 
> literary relationship was with Henry Miller, a 
> self-professed radical who didn't even have a 
> bank account until late in life, and Durrell 
> continued to turn to radical small presses 
> across his career, from Bern Porter to Grey 
> Walls Press, etc.
>
> Yet he was never radical enough nor even 
> explicit enough to ever give offense to his 
> audience.
>
> It strikes me that Durrell enjoyed his time with 
> peasants, and generally with those who wouldn't 
> be reading his books, though he presents a 
> simplified image of them to his audience.  
> Orwell (whose work I like very much) may have 
> elevated the same groups, but he didn't enjoy 
> his visits with them...  Maybe that's why I tend 
> to look for irony in Durrell and allegory in 
> Orwell.
>
> All best,
> James
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