[ilds] Fent

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Sat Feb 27 15:28:34 PST 2016

My edition of the OED is the 2nd.  Under fent I don’t see Durrell listed.  Vent is listed as a variant of fent.  The quote from Prospero’s Cell:

It is towards the hour of seven that, mellowed by the excellent wine of “The Partridge,” we cross the little cobbled square by the Church of the Saint, and seek our way through the alleys and fents of the Venetian town.

I guess it’s possible to see fent (slit) as something metaphorically akin to an alley, but this seems farfetched.  Durrell does this, however, especially when “mellowed by the excellent wine?”  Maybe he’s looking for alliteration between fent and Venetian.


> On Feb 27, 2016, at 2:38 PM, William Apt <billyapt at gmail.com> wrote:
> I just finished reading that passage in Prospero not 15 minutes ago! But is it not possible that "fent" is merely an archaic spelling of "vent"? 
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> On Feb 27, 2016, at 3:47 PM, mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org <mailto:mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org> wrote:
>> 2 points: 1) thank you Bruce - I'd forgotten the title of that chapter of mine - "The End of Our Romantic Life" which I think sums up the fact that there WAS a "romantic life" - the interlude in Paris shared by LD, Nin and Miller, and also that, like any beauty or sense of the merveilleux or transcendence, it must come to an end - like a short-lived heraldic universe - brief butterfly.
>> 2) as regards OED and LD - my favourite citation of LD in the OED is (and this is no doubt because I am resident here) his description of the narrow lanes of Corfu, which he calls "fents" - which the OED picks as the only use of that word with that meaning
>> RP 

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