[ilds] Melissa Artemis

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Fri May 8 14:13:32 PDT 2015

Michael Haag has said that a lot of Elizabeth David went into Justine. Durrell's characters are almost all composites or versions of himself, but you know this. I think it took Larry a long time to get over the loss of Nancy and the child. 


Sent from my iPad

> On 9 May 2015, at 3:25 am, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:
> David and Sumantra,
> My theory, which is in no way original, is that Justine and Clea are based primarily on real prototypes (Eve Cohen and Claude-Marie Vincendon) but that Melissa is fictional, or shall we say, a “projection” or “screen” in the Freudian sense.  Eve and Claude get dedications (Justine and Mountolive), Melissa gets poems and a burial in the “tepid sand of the black estuary” (Justine).  I’m tempted to say Melissa represents the kind of woman Durrell would like to have as a “helpmeet” (loving and pliant) but also the type he tends to abuse physically and mentally.  Nancy Myers, wife no. 1, is a kind of “Melissa.”  Of course, none of these fictional characters correspond exactly to actual people.  The Justine/Eve correspondence seems obvious, but as Ray Morrison once remarked, Eve Cohen Durrell, whom he met, was not the type of person to have a copy of Schopenhauer on her reading shelves, as Justine does.
> Bruce
>> On May 7, 2015, at 3:50 PM, Denise Tart & David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
>> Sumantra,
>> perhaps, in fact, Durrell cared more for Melissa and Clea than for Justine. If poetry is the higher form, Justine only makes prose.
>> maybe the poems on Justine have been lost. What is your theory?
>> By the way, I enjoy Durrell's poetry, much of it, especially his visceral responses to landscape/place. I get a bit lost in all the classical allusion stuff.
>> Durrell likes to see people organically attached to both landscape and history, the rind of the ear goes much further than Melissa's brain. the small forevers go back in time
>> to ancient times and the sea edge where Anthony and Cleopatra walked.
>> David Whitewine
>> 16 William Street
>> Marrickville NSW 2204
>> +61 2 9564 6165
>> 0412 707 625
>> From: Sumantra Nag
>> Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 3:24 AM
>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Cc: James Gifford ; Bruce Redwine ; James Gifford
>> Subject: Re: [ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 97, Issue 6
>> 'How many several small forevers
>> Whispered in the rind of the ear
>> Melissa, by this Mediterranean sea-edge, 
>> Captured and told? 
>> How many additions to the total silence?'
>> I know the ILDS discussion forum is not prone to discussing Durrell's poetry in terms of detailed context.
>> But lines such as these from his poetry surely have an organic link with the Alexandria Quartet, and attempts to address these lines might be rewarding in its own way.
>> Durrell has mentioned Melissa more than once in his poems and Clea at least once,  but never Justine.
>> Sumantra
>> Sent from my Samsung Tab
>>> On 7 May 2015 21:35, "Sumantra Nag" <sumantranag at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> "The heart must be very old to feel so young."
>>> Do you think Lawrence Durrell has got something here?
>>> Sumantra
>>> Sent from my Asus Zenfone
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