[ilds] Durrell as poet

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Thu Jan 7 12:40:28 PST 2016


Some years ago, we had on the List a debate on “Loeb’s Horace.”  My view (if I haven’t changed my mind) was/is not that of Michael Haag’s and Peter Porter’s (both favorable on the poem).  The journal Arion has my article on the Durrell Celebration in Alex in 2007:  “The Melting Mirage of Lawrence Durrell’s White City.”  You can access it on the Arion website; search under my name.  In brief, I think Durrell was engaged in Bloom’s “anxiety of influence,” that is, he was doing battle with Horace and making dubious charges against a very great poet.

Bruce


http://www.bu.edu/arion/






> On Jan 7, 2016, at 12:16 PM, Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Just re-read “On First Looking into Loeb’s Horace” in my used copy of the Grove Press Selected Poems, ironically with the same pencilled underlinings by a prior owner that the poet addresses in the first line: ‘I found your Horace with the writing in it;’. That’s a great poem. Enjoyed Roger Bowen’s gloss online, which I believe comes from his _Many Histories Deep: The Personal Landscape Poets in Egypt, 1940-45_. I would welcome anyone else’s comments on this poem, which clearly deals with death. Note the power of the occasional rhyme.
> 
> Cheers - Ken 
> 
> 
> On Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 11:50 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net <mailto:bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>> wrote:
> I don't think Durrell was being disingenuous.  He would prefer, I think, being known as a poet.  Poetry, after all, is by far the older and higher calling.  Plagiarism might be a test of this.  I don't detect plagiarism in his poetry.  He may revise, rework, and exceed his predecessors.  But I don't see him engaged in wholesale theft, as occasioned in his prose.  I think he considered poetry too sacred.  Harold Bloom talks about this in his "Anxiety of Influence," although he would surely not consider Durrell a "strong poet."  You're right--Durrell's poetry deserves "deep study."  I find it very mysterious.
> 
> Bruce
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
> On Jan 7, 2016, at 11:30 AM, Denise Tart & David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au <mailto:dtart at bigpond.net.au>> wrote:
> 
>> Which begs the question, was Durrell being disingenuous when he claimed it was as a poet that he wished to be remembered. There is wonderful prose poetry in many of his books, the opening page of Justine for one, but it not as a poet that he is remembered. If he is remembered at all it is as the author of the Alexandria Quartet. Durrell read he great poets, even knew some of them, including Dylan Thomas. But poetry, despite the sense of personal satisfaction it gives, doesn't pay much. Larry said more than once that he wrote for loot. However, his poetry is worthy of deeper study.
>> 
>> David Whitewine.
>> 
>> Sent from my iPad
>> 
>> On 8 Jan 2016, at 6:06 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at gmail.com <mailto:bredwine1968 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> 
>>> No, not like “Good Lord Nelson,” more like some of the poems in The Ikons (1967) and Vega (1973).  Durrell was quite versatile.  He could be funny or oracular.  It’s useful to start with Peter Porter’s collection of Durrell’s Selected Poems (Faber, 2006).  Porter considers “Loeb’s Horace” a “great achievement” and concludes by calling Durrell “one of the best [poets] of the past hundred years.”  High praise from a fellow poet.  Unfortunately few share this view.
>>> 
>>> Bruce
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> On Jan 6, 2016, at 7:21 PM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com <mailto:james.d.gifford at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Like the "Ballad of the Good Lord Nelson"?  We even had a performance of the musical setting at the Ottawa conference in 2002...
>>>> 
>>>> Best,
>>>> James
>>>> 
>>>> On 2016-01-06 8:11 PM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
>>>>> Agreed.  Not enough is done with Durrell’s poetry.  It’s really much undiscovered territory.  Why?  Because much is so cryptic.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Bruce
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Jan 6, 2016, at 6:22 PM, Denise Tart & David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au <mailto:dtart at bigpond.net.au>> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> William, happen to agree with your last line about Durrell's poetry. Some of his poems are amongst my favs. Look forward to a Margherita with you some day. Sadly, won't be to Crete this year. Have to work this year.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> David Whitewine
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Sent from my iPad
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> On 7 Jan 2016, at 10:02 AM, William Apt <billyapt at gmail.com <mailto:billyapt at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Fellow members:
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> I just received the latest issue of the Herald and noticed that the University of Texas's British Studies Dept. will be hosting a Waugh archive discussion on April 8th. I am a long time member of the British Studies Lecture Series and former undergrad student of Prof. William Roger Louis, its Director. If any of you will be in in Austin to attend, please do let me know. I know the best Mexican food and BBQ places in town and how to make a good margarita - a real margarita, the way God likes them!
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> All the best, and looking forward to Crete,
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Billy
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> PS: Christopher Middleton, author of the Heraldic Universe, and noted by MacNivan as one of the first scholars to understand what LD was trying to achieve artistically, lived here until his death this past November. I tried to get him to attend OMG in London but he just wasn't interested. He felt his interest in LD was from long ago and that he had moved on. He did tell me that LD's poetry was LD's greatest achievement.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> WILLIAM APT
>>>>>>> Attorney at Law
>>>>>>> 812 San Antonio St, Ste 401
>>>>>>> Austin TX 78701
>>>>>>> 512/708-8300 <tel:512%2F708-8300>
>>>>>>> 512/708-8011 <tel:512%2F708-8011> FAX
>>> 
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