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

Sumantra Nag sumantranag at gmail.com
Sun May 10 19:54:58 PDT 2015


Bruce,

Thank you for dilating on the subject  with recommended references which
would be worth exploring.

Regards

Sumantra

Sent from my Asus Zenfone
On 11 May 2015 02:01, "Bruce Redwine" <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:

> Sumantra,
>
> As you note, Michael Haag finds other sources for Clea and Justine in his *City
> of Memory.*  Durrell likes composites.  I suppose there’s no end to
> finding bits and pieces of real people stuck into his characterizations.
> But, as many observe, Durrell’s work is highly autobiographical, and we
> shouldn’t lose sight of that fact.  In *Personal Landscape:  An Anthology
> of Exile* (1942), he sets a rule for his poetry:  “The poet is interested
> in the Personal aspect:  the poem as an aspect of himself.”  That can be
> generalized to his fiction.  At the beginning of *Quinx* (1985), the
> conclusion to the *Quintet,* we have a comment on some of the characters:
>  “If each had a part in the play perhaps they could also be the various
> actors which, in their sum, made up one whole personality?”  Whose?
> Durrell’s own, I would argue.
>
> By the way, James Gifford’s edition of *From the Elephant’s Back:
>  Collected Essays & Travel Writings* (2014) contains many hard-to-get
> materials, such as Durrell’s “Ideas about Poems” from *Personal
> Landscape.  *I recommend the book.  It fills a big need.
>
> Bruce
>
>
>
> On May 10, 2015, at 9:32 AM, Sumantra Nag <sumantranag at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> 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:
>>
>>    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
>> >
>> >
>>
>> -------------- next part --------------
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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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>>
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>> End of ILDS Digest, Vol 97, Issue 9
>> ***********************************
>>
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