[ilds] Note re: the name “Aubrey”

Kennedy Gammage gammage.kennedy at gmail.com
Sun May 31 22:24:30 PDT 2015


Thank you James and Bruce. I guess my take-away is, if Durrell was
consciously saddling his character with a name known to be a byword for
effeminacy, it serves to further weaken the Alpha Male primacy of Blanford
the Novelist:  would-be alter ego/ delusional creator of other characters
etc. It may help us make allowances for his egotism, for this is an
at-times deeply insecure person who has truly been ‘wounded in his sex.’
Aubrey is no Stephen Dedalus - he will in no sense grow up to write the
Avignon Quintet, though that would have saved Durrell quite a bit of work.
Blanford’s friend and foil Sutcliffe has a bit of Buck Mulligan in him.

Cheers - Ken


On Sun, May 31, 2015 at 8:53 PM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hi Bruce & Ken,
>
> Since I technically am a "Don Gifford," I feel like I need to respond to
> this one (I devilishly enjoy pointing out that my father is Don Gifford
> when I'm at the Modernist Studies Association conferences, just not /that/
> Don).
>
> Might I suggest the MVP Ulysses?
>
> http://web.uvic.ca/~mvp1922/portfolio/ulysses-shakespeare-co-1922-1st-edn/
>
> Apart from the text, we have a whole series of videos including ILDS
> members James Clawson, Alan Warren Friedman, and Michael Stevens.
>
> Charles could indeed elaborate, but perhaps we'll get Clawson to chime in
> as well -- he was in the NEH Ulysses seminar in Dublin just after the
> centenary conference in London.
>
> Durrell could very well be thinking of Joyce, and his CalTech lectures
> included a detailed consideration of Ulysses (a *very* Durrellian version
> of Joyce, albeit).  As for Joyce thinking of Wilde, he did have Dorian Gray
> in his library in Trieste and the Italian translation.
>
> On 2015-05-31 3:47 PM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
>
>> 1.  How is Aubrey Blanford effeminate in the Joycean sense of an Aubrey
>> Beardsley and/or Oscar Wilde?
>>
>
> I don't suspect he is, and I doubt Durrell would have been reading Don
> Gifford, though who knows.  It wasn't in his library for Carbondale nor
> Paris X.
>
>  2.  Why does Blanford refer to /Ulysses/ as “Joyce’s masterpiece”
>> /(Sebastian/ 126) and later as “that odious book” (131)?  Simply irony?
>>
>
> "Odious" might be an allusion, but the word has been applied to Ulysses so
> many times, especially around the trials, we'd probably need to consult the
> Joyce scholars to sort out what voice came first and if it would be
> pertinent here.
>
>  3.  Is Durrell rewriting or taking-on the Joycean novel (a worthy
>> opponent in literary prizefighting), and, if so, is there a close
>> connection between the author and his alter ego, Aubrey Blanford?  (“So
>> D. begat Blanford.”)
>>
>
> To use a Joycean word, "Yes."  There is, of course, a close connection
> between Joyce and Stephen, and I think Durrell (like Miller) saw Joyce as
> one of the Bloomian strong poets to be redefined through a stronger
> misprision.  I don't usually go for Bloom, but in this situation I think he
> applies remarkably well.
>
> I'm reminded that the Quartet ends with (or almost ends with) the same
> words that open /A Portrait of the Artist/, much as Justine (revised) ends
> with the same final words as Pound's Canto I.  Durrell was keenly aware of
> this modernist forebears and their influence, to be carried or corrupted.
> More often than not, I think he was conducting that corrupting misprision.
>
> All best,
> James
>
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