[ilds] Indian Mertaphysics

Rick Schoff frederick.schoff at gmail.com
Wed Nov 25 05:40:40 PST 2015


As new to the list, I find these discussions fascinating. As I've
mentioned, I am simply an avid reader of Durrell, and have reread the
fiction in particular many times. I've read one informative but not
particularly interesting bigraphy, as well as numerous articles about
Durrell over the years. I recently found a copy of Richard Pine's
"Mindscape" and look forward to reading that.

In reading comments by scholars, some of whom spent ime with Durrell, and
seeing issues raised such as professed unhappiness, boredom, violence in
fiction and real life, and self-loathing - I couldn't help but recall
numerous references over the years to Durrell's use of alcohol. I often
hesitate to read biographical material about artists whose work I greatly
admire, but having delved a little into Durrell's life, I couldn't help
wondering what effect Durrell's alleged steady drinking might have had on
his life and work. I understand he was a ferociously intelligent man with
boundless energy, who led a fascinatingly exotic life. I saw one comment by
someone who knew him (I don't recall who) that relayed that when writing
Durrell lived on the 'edge of madness'. I couldn't help but wonder about
the psycholgocal aspects.

For many reasons, I proffer this issue very tentatively, but my interest
and curiosity have gotten the better of me. 'Alcohol and the writer' is
almost a cliche, but I don't find anything of Durrell's cliched. He was an
original.

- Rick Schoff

On Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 3:09 PM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> These are helpful comments, Gulshan.  One small correction -- the
> "Forgetting A Homeless Colonial" is my own piece in /jouvert/, which is
> online:
>
>  http://english.chass.ncsu.edu/jouvert/v6i1-2/giffor.htm
>
> I'm glad to hear it was of use!  For anyone who doesn't know, the /Pied
> Piper of Lovers/ and /Panic Spring/ editions are in stock for the various
> European Amazon sites via their lightning service.  I don't think that
> applies to India, but they're still very much in print.
>
> I'm also glad for your comments on Elizabeth Gilbert.  What you call
> touching innocence is really a material legacy of colonialism.  We have
> this in Canada as well, and it's at least good for tourism revenues, but it
> incurs costs too...  I tend to see Durrell as very clear eyed on that point
> in its various complexities.
>
> All best,
> James
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