[ilds] Michael V. Diboll

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Sun Feb 1 14:59:35 PST 2015


Yes, I recall Haag and Diboll (along with Pine) getting into a row over the Wafd and its use as “allegory” in the Quartet.  My memory is sketchy, probably inaccurate, but if I may put forth — where Diboll sees an allegorical connection between the Wafd and the Hosnani family, Haag sees the Coptic Hosnanis as a screen for the wealthy Jews of Alexandria, namely, the Menasce family, via the Claude Vincendon link.  But now that I’ve read Diboll, I think he’s made a very strong case for his own analysis.  Haag will have to counter or adjust his argument, in my opinion.

Diboll’s book, however, sorely needs a good editor.  It’s always dangerous to rely solely on one’s own judgments.  I believe Haag credits Claude as Durrell editor.  After her death, his work suffered from not having her expert attention.


> On Feb 1, 2015, at 2:30 PM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Bruce,
> Indeed, I read the book when Mike was preparing it for publication.  The challenge with a press like Edwin Mellen is that it sees the author as the ideal editor..., which is almost never viable.  It also means the book is hard to get outside of libraries since the cost is high:
> http://www.mellenpress.com/mellenpress.cfm?bookid=6100&pc=9
> Diboll and Haag had a spirited dispute over the book in 2006 if anyone wants to see the topics under discussion, but unfortunately, it was the year before we migrated the list to its current home at UVic, so there's no searchable institutional archive for it.
> The ILDS has talked about producing a repository of materials. If it's out of print, perhaps Mike would be interested in doing a revised edition (are you on the list still, Mike?).
> All best,
> James
> On 2015-02-01 11:24 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
>> I’ve about finished reading Diboll’s /Lawrence Durrell’s /Alexandria
>> Quartet/in Its Egyptian Contexts/ (2004) and am quite impressed with the
>> book, although it has major flaws (stylistic, grammatical, scholarly).
>>  Diboll’s main argument provides a historical background to the
>> /Quartet/ and does great justice to Durrell’s depth of understanding re
>> the British and Egyptian socio-political situation.  His analysis of the
>> /Wafd/ (the nationalist/liberal party in Egypt, 1919-52) and the David
>> Mountolive-Leila Hosnani “allegory” is persuasive.  I’m less
>> enthusiastic about Diboll’s analogy between Durrell’s “African Darkenss”
>> and Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” but this is a matter of interpretation
>> and preference.  I like the way Diboll deals with Said’s “Orientalism”
>> in reference to the /Quartet./  I’d also like to see the book reissued
>> as a revised edition.  The argument, however, is repetitious and needs
>> to be reduced by perhaps a quarter or more.  I highly recommend the
>> book.  It certainly deserves recognition and a wide audience.
>> Bruce
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