[ilds] Seems

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed Dec 16 12:35:50 PST 2015


Ken,

Embarrassed to admit, I’ve not read Acte.  (I bought it for future reference.)  The only one of Durrell’s plays that I’ve read is Sappho, and that was many decades ago.  So I have no opinion about his abilities as a playwright.  I find it interesting that the Germans were interested in his plays and performed a couple of them, I believe.  I assume Durrell as playwright resonated with the Germans and their theater.  He was familiar with Kleist in translation, who is alluded to in the Quintet in the “Von Esslin” episode situated in Prussia.  Maybe someone can generalize about the German theater and Durrell’s dramas, assuming there are similarities.

Bruce





> On Dec 16, 2015, at 10:58 AM, Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Quoting Hamlet, Bruce just reminded me of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Wanted to ask Bruce about Acte, Durrell's second play, which he recently purchased at a local bookstore: have you read it yet? What did you think? It's natural for a writer of Durrell's gifts to want to write in almost every genre - you want to conquer the world! But were his plays good? Not compared to Stoppard. Maybe compared to Eliot?
> 
> Recent Nobel Prize winners in Literature are from unexpected places all over the world. We all know Durrell wanted that prize - and possibly deserved it. But I'm not sure I've seen an analysis of his oeuvre compared with the recent winners. If such an article appeared in the NY Review of Books I would read it avidly.
> 
> Thanks - Ken
> 
> 
> On Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 8:31 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net <mailto:bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>> wrote:
> Seems, madam?  Nay, it is.  I know not ‘seems.’
> 
> —Hamlet
> 
> He wondered if perhaps all great artists, from whose company he reluctantly excluded himself, were not absolutely revolting as human beings.  Dostoevsky writing about Christian meekness while he browbeat his menservants, Lawrence saying nasty things about one when one wasn’t there … It was very odd.
> 
> —Dark Labyrinth, p. 258
> 
> 
> I guess I’m one of those deceiving myself.  Richard Pine’s objection to “fraud” as anything special may be true in some existential sense, akin to Hamlet’s problem with “seems,” but this is not the moral force of Graecen’s remark.  He clearly censures duplicitous behavior, and I take that as Durrell talking about himself, as “odd” as that may seem.
> 
> Bruce
> 
> 
>> On Dec 15, 2015, at 11:54 PM, mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org <mailto:mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org> wrote:
>> 
>> Of course LD knew he was a fraud. All artists know that, especially writers. None of us is what we seem. Writers just make a professsion of it, that's all. Anyone who thinks he is telling the truth is deceiving herself.
>> RP  
> 
> 
> 
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