[ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 97, Issue 9_Melissa, Justine and Clea

Sumantra Nag sumantranag at gmail.com
Sun May 10 09:32:26 PDT 2015


Bruce and David,

I read your prompt responses with much interest.

As you know, Clea in the Alexandria Quartet seems to be at least partly
based on Clea Badaro the painter resident in Alexandria when Durrell was
there. From Michael Haag's book there emerges a suggestion that Durrell
drew on Elizabeth David too for the character and personal history of
Justine. In Haag's book there is an oblique reference to a woman assistant
in a hospital - perhaps where Eve Cohen worked for some time - represented
as a female figure who could have partly stimulated the much more haunting,
tender and human character of Melissa. But as you have said, the emotions
that Durrell felt for Nancy Myers probably expressed themselves through
Darley's feelings for Melissa.

Sumantra

Sent from my Asus Zenfone
On 10 May 2015 00:32, <ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca> wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
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>    1. Melissa Artemis (Bruce Redwine)
>    2. Re: Melissa Artemis (Denise Tart & David Green)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 8 May 2015 10:25:02 -0700
> From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> To: David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au>, Durrell list
>         <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>,   Sumantra Nag <sumantranag at gmail.com>
> Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> Subject: [ilds] Melissa Artemis
> Message-ID: <E078B1AE-EB89-4A9F-A367-263CB640B4AD at earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>
> 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 <mailto:sumantranag at gmail.com>
> > Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 3:24 AM
> > To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca <mailto:ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
> > Cc: James Gifford <mailto:james.d.gifford at gmail.com> ; Bruce Redwine
> <mailto:bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> ; James Gifford <mailto:
> gifford at fdu.edu>
> > Subject: Re: [ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 97, Issue 6
> >
> > BY THE LAKE
> > '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 <mailto:
> 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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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 9 May 2015 07:13:32 +1000
> From: Denise Tart & David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au>
> To: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> Cc: Sumantra Nag <sumantranag at gmail.com>, Durrell list
>         <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
> Subject: Re: [ilds] Melissa Artemis
> Message-ID: <7AE0CBFD-7CA8-46B1-B865-3B636B335387 at bigpond.net.au>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>
> 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.
>
> David
>
> 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
> >>
> >> BY THE LAKE
> >> '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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> End of ILDS Digest, Vol 97, Issue 9
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