[ilds] Heraldic Universe

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 25 13:43:25 PST 2016


I think I basically agree with Richard about the “nature” of the Heraldic Universe as Durrell may have experienced it.  It is not explainable in rational terms (hence his emphasis on irrationality and non-causality), and I don’t think it’s something that can be explained in terms of literary history (which I take Richard to mean by “scholarly footnote”).  When I previously mentioned “praxis” as a means of accessibility, I had in mind Durrell’s practice of Yoga as spiritual meditation, not simply physical exercise and a way to fight off the decrepitude of old age.

Re Hermann Broch’s Death of Virgil (1945), an experiment in poetic thought, his notion of “ultimate reality” seems relevant, especially since it’s ineffable, contradictory, paradoxical, etc., etc.  Seems to me this is what Durrell is also getting at in a way that seems confused and nonsensical only because that state can’t be expressed in rational terms.  As George Steiner and others have pointed out, Broch, in the end, seems to cancel himself out, that is, he rejects literary expression and his own work.  So, the primary theme of DV, namely, Virgil trying to burn the Aeneid.  I don’t think Durrell went this far, but I detect a tendency in this direction.

Bruce





> On Feb 25, 2016, at 12:48 PM, mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org wrote:
> 
> HERALDIC UNIVERSE
> Although I have written about this extensively, I am of the increasing belief that to probe the 'Heraldic Universe' as if it were something we might analyse at an anatomy lesson, using critical tools, is less than helpful. How does one describe the moment of one's death? Not even V Woolf could do that (well, she didn't describe much else either). How does one describe any sense of transcendence - such as Christians believe to occur during the Eucharist - the transubstantiation - ? How does a Buddhist describe the concept or the experience of Nirvana? No, it's not a runner except for the poet who knows it. You can't explain the Heraldic Universe with a scholarly footnote. Leave it alone. Nuff said.
> RP 

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