[ilds] Durrell's library, Durrell's Elizas

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Tue Jun 23 13:41:46 PDT 2015


In a 1937 letter to Miller, Durrell sums up nicely his attitude towards the “Elizas”:  “The virtue of the Elizabethans was this:  their exuberance was so enormous, so volatile, so pest-ridden, so aching and vile and repentant and spew-stuck, that here and there, by glorious mistakes, they transcended the cannon” (MacNiven ed. of Durrell-Miller Letters, pp. 42-43).  This is not so much a theory as a personal manifesto.  It’s remarkable how consistent Durrell was throughout his life.  The Elizabethans provided a framework for his art.  I’d say the Quintet comes closest to this manifesto.

Bruce





> On Jun 23, 2015, at 6:01 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:
> 
> The revisions James is referring to are probably in the archives at Carbondale, Illinois.  So they're not easily accessible.
> 
> Beyond the fact that the Renaissance is the greatest period of English literature, I'd like to know if Durrell had a theory about its greatness.  And by theory I mean something beyond statements about its rawness of life.  We can look at his own work and infer this attitude.  Poetry and horror probably have roles.  Hence his revival of plays in verse.  Too bad Bill Godshalk didn't complete his comparison of Middleton's Black Book and Durrell's.
> 
> Bruce
> 
> 
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 

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