[ilds] Attn: James Gifford

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 19 11:00:08 PST 2015


What’s interesting — to me anyway — about Len Worman’s inquiry is that he mistook a passage in Livia for something Durrell said or wrote elsewhere, with a big emphasis on the former.  As I said before, I don’t think old LD would have made such a statement in public.  He may have thought it, but he would only commit such thoughts to fiction, where you can get away with just about anything.  I guess in this sense Durrell’s writings are “confessional.”

Bruce





> On Feb 18, 2015, at 3:03 PM, Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Bravo James and Charles, and congrats to Len for getting your answer like this! We are all reminded of LGD's great skill in populating a whole city's worth of characters and bringing them to vivid life! Even though I've read the Quintet repeatedly over the decades I had forgotten this key passage, which brings Rob, Constance and Bloshford (or whomever) alive again right now on our desktop and smartphone! Thanks very much for the reminder!
> 
> Cheers - Ken
> 
> 
> On Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 2:48 PM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com <mailto:james.d.gifford at gmail.com>> wrote:
> Hello all,
> 
> I received a missive over the telegraph from Tennessee that might solve this riddle...  As was also tapped out over the line, this passage is of course qualified by "It wasn't true, and he knew it," and there's the ever so lovely "this needs a new paragraph."  Which is to say, I keep my tongue in my cheek even just reading it!
> 
> I hope this solves the riddle.
> 
> All best,
> James
> 
> ----->
> A clipping from the Home Office:
> 
> "He told himself that Thrush had a vicious, thirsty little French face; but it wasn¹t true and he knew it. He felt as if his brains had cooled and dripped into his socks. He could have written an ode called "A Castrate's Tears beneath the Shears" -- but the tone was wrong and he delegated this to Sutcliffe who would come along in good time with his own brand of snivel. And then, on top of it all, to be unfair to poor Paris which all of a sudden became loathsome to him. He noticed now the dirty hair, cheaply dyed, and never kept up from meanness ­-- so many brassy blondes with black partings. And in August the refusal to shave armpits. The town smelt like one large smoking armpit. Acrid as the lather of dancers. And then the selection of sexual provender ­ perversions worthy of wood-lice. Well, he had come there for infamy in the first place, so what the hell had he got to complain about? He would die, like Sutcliffe, in the arms of some lesbian drum-major, dreaming nostalgically of hot buttered toast between normal thigh and thigh. Indeed he would go further and become a Catholic and enact the funky deathbed scene ­ the spider on the ceiling and the shadow of a priest and a notary. It wouldn't do, said the voice of Constance, and he knew that it wouldn't. Eheu!" (Livia 71-72)
> 
> 
> On 2015-02-10 7:32 PM, Len Worman wrote:
> > Dear Sir; I recently corresponded with Ian MacNiven,
> > who told me he was forwarding my original letter to
> > you. I am endeavoring to discover where in LD's
> > writings there is a quote regarding how he found,
> > after the war, the women in Paris not shaving their
> > underarms or using deodorants and ,  therefore,
> > being smelly. I had this section in my vast LD
> > library once but it was destroyed in a house fire
> > and, for personal reasons, am anxious to find it
> > again. I hope you can help. I am a long time sincere
> > fan ever since I read that first review in the NYT
> > of "Justine". Thank you very much. Len Worman.
> > (lenworman at gmail.com <mailto:lenworman at gmail.com>).
> 
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