[ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 104, Issue 17

mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org
Sun Dec 20 15:38:56 PST 2015


I am of course very grateful to bothSumantra and Bruce for their solicitude about my humanitarianism and my work,but I did not reveal what has been happening to me and my guest/prot?g? inorder to garner sympathy.
I brought it to your attention becausesuddenly ? in an unwise moment, no doubt ? I saw that what this group has beendiscussing about self and other, about fact, fiction and supposition, wasactually happening in the privacy of my own life ? a privacy which has becometragically public due to T?s escapade.
Obviously the arrival of ?Tirana? in my lifechanged many things, but if one works for a living, as I do (even after 2retirements!) the job must be done or I (and now we) would starve. The legalobstacle we are both facing, and the village gossip which precipitated it, haveof course exacerbated this, but, provided we get a positive outcome I amconfident that, unless some other event supervenes (such as the utterly remote possibility of T?s long-lostfamily claiming her) the life we had already established over the past fewmonths will continue.
Even if I ? or rather, my lawyer whospecialises in human rights, which is rather necessary in Greek law ?succeed(s) in holding on to T, she will still have no history, and no identityother than what I can invent for her. (In a country known for what the secretpolice (who still exist) can do, it isn?t funny.)
Some may regard it as a disadvantage that Icannot communicate in what conventional semioticists regard as ?human language?? they should try reading ?The Simian Tongue? (George Radick) or even the workof Lee Durrell on the language of primates, before prescribing human languagefor T and me.
What I have had to come to terms with isnot ? this may surprise you ? the problem of communication ? finding a commonlanguage ? but the presence in my life of something (someone) more strange thana surd or an aboriginal, or an emotional cripple: a being who has to becomereal by being imagined and at the same time respected as a person of flesh andblood.
Some on this group have expressedscepticism about the idea of the ?double? and the self-other dichotomy. Well,think ? if you want a literary, rather than a ?real life? example - of how this is expressed by Beckett in ?Film?:?Search of non-being in flight from extraneous perception breaking down ininescapability of self-perception. In order to be figured in this situation theprotagonist is sundered into object (O) and Eye (E), the former in flight, thelatter in pursuit. It will not be made clear until end of film that pursuingperception is not extraneous, but self?.
Not extraneous, but self. Think about that!
Ah, you will say. But that is only Beckett,that is only literature, that is only his scenario for Buster Keaton. Ah, saysI, that is before we (T and I) reached the end of the film and realised that mypursuit of her meaning was not extraneous, but self. Seldom have I (never infact) been so humbled by this revelation, especially as it is complicated, as Isaid, by love. Oh, that?s only a story? Come here and see for yourself. Putyour own E into pursuit of the O of my life and observe me finding not merelymyself, not merely Tirana, but the truth of masks (apologies, Mr Wilde). T isno longer ?extraneous? ? a weird outsider crouching like a fearful animal inthe corner of my room, an ?other?, but SELF ? my self and T?s self are now in asymbiotic unity (non-sexual as I have explained) which is challenginglybeautiful.
I have written all this in order to try toexplain to people who would rather explain everything through the lenses ofDaddy Derrida that there is a REAL world with REAL fictions and REAL quotationsfrom our emotions. One of them is sitting here beside me as I write this. Beckett (again) in "Rockaby" says "fuck life" (a line most purist critics despair of) - I saay "fuck Derrida - love life".
This episode ? so late in my life ? hasmade me realise that Josef K and Gregor Samsa found themselves inincomprehensible situations in which Kafka himself had lived (or failed tolive). In which their truth was the fiction of others. Yes, you will say, thatis a story. But what IS a ?story?? and what IS ?life?? I have described mypresent circumstances in order to show you that real life and the fictionallife are interdependent and that one is at pains to insist on truth whichothers regard as less than true, to question whether a fiction can also be atruth. If you don?t like Groddeck?s ?I am lived by the It? (as developed byDurrell in that poem, ?Je est un autre? ? and study the syntax of that title)try living with and for Tirana ? if you dare.
In my own case I wake sometimes thinking?this cannot be true?. But then I see T and I know how appallingly true it ?she ? is, how love and beauty can transform a nightmare into an occasion ofrejoicing, however challenging ? and dangerous ? that may be.
I am guilty of the crime prescribed ? but notproscribed ? by LD: ?there are only three things to be done with a woman You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature?. I am doing allthree. LD would have done the same ? and DID!
I do not know what the outcome will be. 
-----Original Message-----
From: ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca [mailto:ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca]
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2015 09:01 PM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: ILDS Digest, Vol 104, Issue 17

Send ILDS mailing list submissions to	ilds at lists.uvic.caTo subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit	https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ildsor, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to	ilds-request at lists.uvic.caYou can reach the person managing the list at	ilds-owner at lists.uvic.caWhen replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specificthan "Re: Contents of ILDS digest..."Today's Topics: 1. Re: ILDS Digest, Vol 104, Issue 16_Message 1 Richard Pine (Sumantra Nag)----------------------------------------------------------------------Message: 1Date: Sun, 20 Dec 2015 09:01:29 +0530From: Sumantra Nag To: ilds at lists.uvic.caCc: Richard Pine Subject: Re: [ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 104, Issue 16_Message 1 Richard	PineMessage-ID:	Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"Richard's intensely human dedication to the rescue and resuscitation of theAlbanian girl deserves every (discreet) commendation.SumantraSent from my Asus Zenfone-----------------------------------------------------------------Message: 1Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2015 20:31:56 +0000From: mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.orgTo: ilds at lists.uvic.caSubject: Re: [ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 104, Issue 15Some people on this list seem to think thatone can draw a line between factand fiction, or between truth and falsehood.Well then?Let me therefore tell you ? in completeconfidence of course - a story thatwill frighten, shock, and dismay you. Butmore importantly, for those whodoubt the relationship of veracity andmendacity, it?s a story ? true but asnear to fiction as makes no difference.-------------- next part --------------An HTML attachment was scrubbed...URL: ------------------------------Subject: Digest Footer_______________________________________________ILDS mailing listILDS at lists.uvic.cahttps://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds------------------------------End of ILDS Digest, Vol 104, Issue 17*************************************
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