[ilds] helpful link, James!

Ric Wilson Ric.Wilson at msn.com
Fri Mar 25 16:44:04 PDT 2016


re: You need to join to download it, which some may not want to do, so it's 
also online in the National Library for direct access (you just need to 
link past the disclaimer to access it, and then the whole journal issue 
on Durrell is there):

http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/202/300/agora/2004/v3n01/

thanks for the redirection
:-)
Ric Wilson

________________________________________
From: ILDS <ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca> on behalf of ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca <ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca>
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2016 12:00 PM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: ILDS Digest, Vol 107, Issue 10

Send ILDS mailing list submissions to
        ilds at lists.uvic.ca

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
        https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
        ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca

You can reach the person managing the list at
        ilds-owner at lists.uvic.ca

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of ILDS digest..."


Today's Topics:

   1. Mr. esposito (Ric Wilson)
   2. Re: Mr. esposito (james Esposito)
   3. Re: Mr. esposito (Denise Tart & David Green)
   4. Re: Mr. esposito (james Esposito)
   5. Re: Mr. Esposito (Bruce Redwine)
   6. Re: Wordspinners (James Gifford)
   7. Lit. of Pop Culture (Bruce Redwine)
   8. Re: Mr. Esposito (james Esposito)
   9. Re: Lit. of Pop Culture (Panaiotis Gerontopoulos)
  10. Re: Mr. Esposito (Bruce Redwine)
  11. Re: Mr. Esposito (james Esposito)
  12. Re: Mr. Esposito (Bruce Redwine)
  13. Re: Lit. of Pop Culture (James Gifford)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 22:14:02 +0000
From: Ric Wilson <Ric.Wilson at msn.com>
To: "ilds at lists.uvic.ca" <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Subject: [ilds] Mr. esposito
Message-ID:
        <BY2PR16MB0213B88DF505AC0BC910DEF893820 at BY2PR16MB0213.namprd16.prod.outlook.com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Cheers to your perspective! That was a surprise and well received.

Ric Wilson

________________________________________
From: ILDS <ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca> on behalf of ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca <ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca>
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2016 12:00 PM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: ILDS Digest, Vol 107, Issue 9

Send ILDS mailing list submissions to
        ilds at lists.uvic.ca

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
        https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
        ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca

You can reach the person managing the list at
        ilds-owner at lists.uvic.ca

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of ILDS digest..."


Today's Topics:

   1. Re: Wordspinners (james Esposito)
   2. Re: Wordspinners (James Gifford)
   3. Re: Wordspinners (Bruce Redwine)
   4. Re: Wordspinners (Kennedy Gammage)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 12:06:45 +0200
From: james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
Message-ID:
        <CAFcAaFdZUhWx0_oSertAyjKsiafWRVne=worc8PFbe2NbU4aAg at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

I do not have access to "Deus Loci" - I first became aware of Durrell's
"Minor Mythologies" in Pine's book "Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape" where
he says:


A further characteristic of Durrell?s understanding of the nineteenth
century was his refusal to build his house exclusively on the plane of
?high? literature, and his insistence instead on pursuing it through major
and minor modes. Thus his own adventure novel *White Eagles over Serbia*,
written in the Buchanesque style of so much of his early reading, combines
elements of the detective story and the grail quest. (In the *Quartet*
Darley criticises the writing of the much-envied Pursewarden: ?what is
missing in his work - but this is a criticism of all works which do not
reach the front rank - is a sense of play? - *Quartet* 670.) It is a genre
he much admired, for example relishing the Quixote-Panza relationship of
Wodehouse?s Wooster and Jeeves (we have already seen him imagining himself
as a new Wodehouse). He saw Wooster in descent from ?the great Knights of
the Romance pattern?, saying ?he is a knight in the sense that he is a
gentleman absolute. He can do no evil. It is the terrific responsibility of
wasting time amusingly that exhausts him so? <#_ftn1>? a remarkable insight
into the preoccupations of the one-time dandy faced with all the burdens of
decadence. (In the same frame of mind he might have held the image of
Scobie as ?Popeye the Sailor Man? and Nessim as the ?chevalier sans
peur? ? *Quartet
*549.) In the same essay, ?The Minor Mythologies?, Durrell made the case
for considering the characters of minor fiction in the same critical
bracket:



The myth-making faculty is busy at many different levels; a critic
interested in the creative process may find more food for thought in a
Stephen Daedelus [*sic*] than in a Jeeves.Yet he should be prepared to
acknowledge them both as part of the broad flood of a nation?s literature
flowing out towards the future, to the sea. Many readers might think it a
waste of time but how delightful a book on the minor mythologies of the age
could be made if one could persuade a serious critic to consider its
figures... Holmes, Jeeves, Dr Fu Manchu, Captain Blood, Bulldog Drummond,
Raffles, Bones, Captain Nemo, Frankenstein, Dracula. <#_ftn2>



Durrell himself displayed this ability to give due attention to major and
minor, firstly in the creation of his own ?minor? canon in works like *White
Eagles* (which he regarded as ?makeweights?) or in some of the apparently
inconsequential characters of the island books. Secondly, in his ?major?
works, Durrell, like Kipling, brought the great and the insignificant into
close and urgent contact (he called the *Quartet *?such a strange mixture
of sex and the secret service!? *SP* 120), so much so as to make us enquire
at what point a character gains or loses cardinal significance: for
example, the nameless loader who appears and disappears within one
paragraph of the *Quartet* after the supposed death of Capodistria (*Quartet
*76- 7), or Krov, the ?slave-prisoner? of General von Esslin (*Quintet*
877-83), take on a vital role illustrative of some mythological level far
out of proportion to their social or narrative function, precisely because
that function is not part of the cultural values Durrell shared with the
nineteenth century. Durrell employed this kind of simplicity as a means of
communication ? one he particularly valued in the ?minor mythologies? ?
because it made the reader an accomplice at the deepest level of
story-telling at which the primitive, as opposed to the sophisticated,
method of narrative is revealed as the more effective bonding mechanism of
society: <#_ftn3> think of Pater?s Marius: ?his life had been so like the
reading of a romance to him?, <#_ftn4>or, as Groddeck put it in *The Book
of the It*, ?read [my letters] as though they were travel books or
detective stories?. <#_ftn5> It was thus possible to engage not only in
narration but also in analysis without the reader becoming aware of the
ulterior project.

Writing of Wells?s *The Time Machine* and Rider Haggard?s *She* which,
Durrell said, embodied for the Victorians ?the great popular myths of the
age?, he made a case (in the latter instance by tracing that myth through
the Prester John legends to de Mandeville) for these and other ?great
folk-metaphors? (Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll/Hyde), that ?their
literary ancestry stretches far back into the age of the magicians and
miracles?. <#_ftn6> This resort to the *merveilleux* and the miraculous is
one of the trademarks of the baroque novelist, and was an integral part not
only of Durrell?s technique but also of his faith in the novel. He made a
critical connection between gothic narrative and the myths of magic,
showing us that the modern juxtaposition and interaction of science and art
is merely another form of an all-embracing philosophy told, like so much of
Buddhism, through the visions and spectacles of everyday life. Quotidian
activity, rather than the characters who enact it, has its own characters.



Thus it is easier to spell out the ?miracle?, the successful d?nouement, if
it is already anticipated as part of the reader?s act of faith within the
act of reading <#_ftn7> It would only be with the *c?sura* after the
*Quartet* that this faith hit the rocks of Durrell?s despair. To the genre
of adventure in *Kim* we can add Durrell?s childhood introduction to the
works of Dickens and, on the evidence of *Pied Piper of Lovers*, Henty,
Ballantyne and Dumas (*PPL* 124, 192). Durrell?s library contained several
examples of Buchan?s work, together with volumes of Baroness Orczy and
Anthony Hope <#_ftn8> and he often referred to Wodehouse as an important
example of subversive humour ? a technique he put to use not only in the
?Antrobus? pictures from diplomatic life but also in the structure and
texture of *The Revolt* (indeed, as I shall demonstrate in Part 4, there is
an organic connection between the two types of writing).

Milan Kundera makes the point that a novel requires four special ?appeals?:
those of ?play?, ?dream?, ?thought? and ?time?, <#_ftn9> and it is
important to note that it is the combination of seriousness of intent with
lightness of touch which gives Durrell?s fiction its onward drive: while he
is capable of arresting our attention with some lapidary insight into the
human condition, the dynamic in the reader?s mind is the question ?what
happens next??. The book must be a place of intellectual excitement which
is leavened by the idea of life-as-a-game.

-------------------------------------

Apologies for such a long quote but some on this list may not have Pine's
book, which I understand is hard to find in the second edition.

I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the high
modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an attempt to
make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him, which did not
include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or low.

Maybe I'm ill-versed, but I don't get the rhetoric about the mud bricks.

James Esposito

------------------------------



On Sun, Mar 20, 2016 at 8:03 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> It's worth noting that thanks to Charles Sligh's excellent editorial work,
> we have Durrell's thoughts on the matter in "The Minor Mythologies" (Deus
> Loci NS 7 1999-2000). He's certainly not dismissive of "lowbrow"
> entertainments. Sligh notes it as a "multiform, anti-departmental approach
> to literary production," and I think I'd go along a long way with that. And
> after all, Old D wrote the last 3 volumes of The Quartet at top speed. And
> for money too... Even early on he wrote to emulate the formal effects of
> the high modernists in Panic Spring, and under a pseudonym, which certainly
> wasn't a good plan to make easy money fast.
>
> I'd note that the same Hope Mirrlees who gave the world the remarkable and
> experimental "Paris: A Poem" also wrote the fantasy novel Lud-In-The-Mist.
> I think we'd be foolish not to see a careful mind at work in both texts
> just as we'd be foolish to exclude the material exigencies of their
> production. Then again, I've written critical work on comic books...
>
> I'll stand by the mud brick in this case, even if I don't roll in the muck.
>
> All best,
> James
>
> Ps: great to have your contribution James (Esposito)!
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
> On Mar 19, 2016, at 2:17 PM, Denise Tart & David Green <
> dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
>
> Having written commercially myself, I think it is easy, at least for me,
> to write with more than one head, so to speak. Writing for magazines and
> journals to a deadline for pay, sometimes good pay, requires a different
> mind cast to producing a a good poem; that comes from another place. As a
> writer Durrell was across multiple genres and wrote for diverse audiences
> but I agree with Bruce that whether dashing off a potboiler, a travel book
> or a great novel cycle, the strength and beauty of Durrell's poetry comes
> through them all, yes even Sicilian Carousel, an underrated book in my
> view. As an actor can play many parts, so can a writer but something of his
> essence flavours them all.
>
> David
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
> On 20 Mar 2016, at 6:05 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> wrote:
>
> Excellent response.  This is the real issue--what's the relationship
> between Durrell as serious writer and Durrell as hack, greedy or not?  I
> see the two as directly related, with varying degrees of importance.  A
> good writer doesn't stop being a good writer simply because he or she
> writes to make money.  Durrell's Sicilian book and the one on the Greek
> islands were both written mainly to make money, and he even disparaged the
> former as something of a potboiler.  Both books, however, have many
> excellent sections and are relevant to his "serious" work and to the man
> himself.  I would add the Antrobus stories, along with the "ephemeral"
> pieces, to his body of work.
>
> Also, Durrell's commentary on his own habits/objectives should be taken
> with heaps and heaps of salt.  D. H. Lawrence had it right, in my opinion,
> when he said, more than less, that readers should trust the book and not
> the author.
>
> Bruce
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Mar 19, 2016, at 10:45 AM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> Forgive me as a newcomer, but surely Lawrence Durrell made it clear that
> he saw his paid work as distinct from his serious novels,poetry et cetera?
> His boast about the writing of the 'Antrobus' stories and the use to which
> he put the money and the comparison with P G Wodehouse and Proust suggest
> that he really did see himself as two types of writer. I'm not saying that
> these two writers were entirely separable, but I think Durrell was
> conscious of a difference in his approach to different tasks - the
> ephemeral newspaper and magazine assignments and the major works. And
> perhaps "avaricious hack" is not quite the way to describe him when he sat
> down to quickly write a piece, maybe off the top of his head, which would
> earn him some necessary money so that he could get back to spending quality
> time on his 'serious' or 'real' (as he called it) work?
> James Esposito
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/cfefbb43/attachment-0001.html>

------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:42:23 -0700
From: James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
Message-ID: <56F418EF.4040603 at gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed

Hi James,

On 2016-03-24 3:06 AM, james Esposito wrote:
> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
> Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
> high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
> attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him,
> which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or
> low.

Please, "James" is just fine (no need for the professor bit).  Thanks
for your comments -- it's always good to have new voices on the listserv.

As for the high modernists, some of it is fairly overt in the text.  He
even wrote in 1975 that /Panic Spring/ is "a pretty good anthology of
the styles of the writers I then admired, Huxley, Graves, Aldington,
Lawrence," although as usual I think he left the biggest names out of
the list...

For instance, Noah seduces/assaults Francis in a scene very much like
that in the "A Game of Chess" section of T.S. Eliot's /The Waste Land/
or between the typist and young man in "The First Sermon" section.  Just
in case we don't catch what Durrell's up to, Noah asks Francis if she's
read /The Waste Land/ after having made sure copies of Ezra Pound and
Eliot are visible in the room.  It's also not really a great surprise
since the book was published by Faber & Faber where Eliot was an editor
and Durrell was in correspondence with him.

We get kindred stream of consciousness scenes like Woolf and Joyce in
"The Music" chapter as well as gestures to shell shock through Marlowe.
  Overall, Durrell's fairly explicit about taking up stylistic and
thematic models from the high modernists here, and while I think he had
an uneasy relationship with those predecessors (for instance, in many
respects substituting Cavafy for Eliot in the Quartet), they're also
overt influences.

Other gestures to Eliot are fairly overt, such as in the "Walsh" chapter
when the narrative voice tells us "They walked in the rain together,
among a torrent of wet dead leaves, wind tugging their hair back on
their scalps, rain in their mouths and the smell of dead earth" which is
quite close to the opening lines of /The Waste Land/ (and in the
preceding paragraph he stresses by repetition the "unreal" like Eliot's
"Unreal city" from the same).  Francis is also like an "anaesthetised
patient" much akin to the opening of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred
Prufrock" and so forth.

Perhaps I should emphasize that I don't see this as a problem -- he's
reacting to the most famous generation of authors immediately preceding
his own (and who were editing him...) while challenging and/or extending
parts of their project in the process of discovering his own.  I think
it's to be expected, and most authors of his generation did the same.

> I don't get the
> rhetoric about the mud bricks.

The mud brick figures in his "With Durrell in Egypt" piece (collected in
/From the Elephant's Back/) -- it's a brick from Hassan Fathy's Gourna
village.  I've suggested that since Durrell describes reading Fathy's
/Architecture for the Poor/ in the piece and gives such a prominent
place in the narrative to a symbol of the utopian project for peasants
(the mud brick is a key part of Fathy's revival of traditional
materials), it's not a politically neutral image.  I don't know how
specific we might argue the "meaning" of the brick in the narrative
could be, but I don't think it's neutral or random.

Others are arguing that the brick carries no importance, which I find
unlikely, but to each their own.  I might even hope that it means both
things at the same time -- Keats, after all, appears frequently in Durrell.

All best,
James


------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 10:34:09 -0700
From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
To: James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>,  Sumantra Nag
        <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
Message-ID: <B1B82D61-AE6C-4680-B4D4-04325C1432A4 at earthlink.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

I think Gifford sums up nicely the main issues raised by Esposito.  The long quotation is from the 2nd ed. of Pine?s Mindscape (2005):  114-16.  Durrell?s concern about ?minor mythologies? and literature as ?play? is nothing new.  Way back in the Middle Ages the function of literature was described as ?to delight and instruct,? and even that exhortation probably goes further back to the Romans, at least.  We?re probably talking about the context of Durrell?s remark and how he thought literature had become too highbrow.  There?s nothing wrong with telling a good story and all that that involves?at which Durrell could excel when in good form.  On the other hand, he was probably ahead of his time when he talks about giving equal weight to the popular literature of the time.  My sense is that academics are currently mining that very topic, if in somewhat abstruse fashion, that is, buttressed by a lot of Continental ?theory.?

Bruce





> On Mar 24, 2016, at 9:42 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Hi James,
>
> On 2016-03-24 3:06 AM, james Esposito wrote:
>> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
>> Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
>> high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
>> attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him,
>> which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or
>> low.
>
> Please, "James" is just fine (no need for the professor bit).  Thanks for your comments -- it's always good to have new voices on the listserv.
>
> As for the high modernists, some of it is fairly overt in the text.  He even wrote in 1975 that /Panic Spring/ is "a pretty good anthology of the styles of the writers I then admired, Huxley, Graves, Aldington, Lawrence," although as usual I think he left the biggest names out of the list...
>
> For instance, Noah seduces/assaults Francis in a scene very much like that in the "A Game of Chess" section of T.S. Eliot's /The Waste Land/ or between the typist and young man in "The First Sermon" section.  Just in case we don't catch what Durrell's up to, Noah asks Francis if she's read /The Waste Land/ after having made sure copies of Ezra Pound and Eliot are visible in the room.  It's also not really a great surprise since the book was published by Faber & Faber where Eliot was an editor and Durrell was in correspondence with him.
>
> We get kindred stream of consciousness scenes like Woolf and Joyce in "The Music" chapter as well as gestures to shell shock through Marlowe.  Overall, Durrell's fairly explicit about taking up stylistic and thematic models from the high modernists here, and while I think he had an uneasy relationship with those predecessors (for instance, in many respects substituting Cavafy for Eliot in the Quartet), they're also overt influences.
>
> Other gestures to Eliot are fairly overt, such as in the "Walsh" chapter when the narrative voice tells us "They walked in the rain together, among a torrent of wet dead leaves, wind tugging their hair back on their scalps, rain in their mouths and the smell of dead earth" which is quite close to the opening lines of /The Waste Land/ (and in the preceding paragraph he stresses by repetition the "unreal" like Eliot's "Unreal city" from the same).  Francis is also like an "anaesthetised patient" much akin to the opening of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and so forth.
>
> Perhaps I should emphasize that I don't see this as a problem -- he's reacting to the most famous generation of authors immediately preceding his own (and who were editing him...) while challenging and/or extending parts of their project in the process of discovering his own.  I think it's to be expected, and most authors of his generation did the same.
>
>> I don't get the
>> rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>
> The mud brick figures in his "With Durrell in Egypt" piece (collected in /From the Elephant's Back/) -- it's a brick from Hassan Fathy's Gourna village.  I've suggested that since Durrell describes reading Fathy's /Architecture for the Poor/ in the piece and gives such a prominent place in the narrative to a symbol of the utopian project for peasants (the mud brick is a key part of Fathy's revival of traditional materials), it's not a politically neutral image.  I don't know how specific we might argue the "meaning" of the brick in the narrative could be, but I don't think it's neutral or random.
>
> Others are arguing that the brick carries no importance, which I find unlikely, but to each their own.  I might even hope that it means both things at the same time -- Keats, after all, appears frequently in Durrell.
>
> All best,
> James
>

* * * * *

James Esposito, 3/24/2016:


I do not have access to "Deus Loci" - I first became aware of Durrell's "Minor Mythologies" in Pine's book "Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape" where he says:


A further characteristic of Durrell?s understanding of the nineteenth century was his refusal to build his house exclusively on the plane of ?high? literature, and his insistence instead on pursuing it through major and minor modes. Thus his own adventure novel White Eagles over Serbia, written in the Buchanesque style of so much of his early reading, combines elements of the detective story and the grail quest. (In the Quartet Darley criticises the writing of the much-envied Pursewarden: ?what is missing in his work - but this is a criticism of all works which do not reach the front rank - is a sense of play? - Quartet 670.) It is a genre he much admired, for example relishing the Quixote-Panza relationship of Wodehouse?s Wooster and Jeeves (we have already seen him imagining himself as a new Wodehouse). He saw Wooster in descent from ?the great Knights of the Romance pattern?, saying ?he is a knight in the sense that he is a gentleman absolute. He can do no evil. It is the!
  terrific responsibility of wasting time amusingly that exhausts him so? <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn1>? a remarkable insight into the preoccupations of the one-time dandy faced with all the burdens of decadence. (In the same frame of mind he might have held the image of Scobie as ?Popeye the Sailor Man? and Nessim as the ?chevalier sans peur? ? Quartet 549.) In the same essay, ?The Minor Mythologies?, Durrell made the case for considering the characters of minor fiction in the same critical bracket:


The myth-making faculty is busy at many different levels; a critic interested in the creative process may find more food for thought in a Stephen Daedelus [sic] than in a Jeeves.Yet he should be prepared to acknowledge them both as part of the broad flood of a nation?s literature flowing out towards the future, to the sea. Many readers might think it a waste of time but how delightful a book on the minor mythologies of the age could be made if one could persuade a serious critic to consider its figures... Holmes, Jeeves, Dr Fu Manchu, Captain Blood, Bulldog Drummond, Raffles, Bones, Captain Nemo, Frankenstein, Dracula. <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn2>

Durrell himself displayed this ability to give due attention to major and minor, firstly in the creation of his own ?minor? canon in works like White Eagles (which he regarded as ?makeweights?) or in some of the apparently inconsequential characters of the island books. Secondly, in his ?major? works, Durrell, like Kipling, brought the great and the insignificant into close and urgent contact (he called the Quartet ?such a strange mixture of sex and the secret service!? SP 120), so much so as to make us enquire at what point a character gains or loses cardinal significance: for example, the nameless loader who appears and disappears within one paragraph of the Quartet after the supposed death of Capodistria (Quartet 76- 7), or Krov, the ?slave-prisoner? of General von Esslin (Quintet 877-83), take on a vital role illustrative of some mythological level far out of proportion to their social or narrative function, precisely because that function is not part of the cultural val!
 ues Durrell shared with the nineteenth century. Durrell employed this kind of simplicity as a means of communication ? one he particularly valued in the ?minor mythologies? ? because it made the reader an accomplice at the deepest level of story-telling at which the primitive, as opposed to the sophisticated, method of narrative is revealed as the more effective bonding mechanism of society: <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn3> think of Pater?s Marius: ?his life had been so like the reading of a romance to him?, <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn4>or, as Groddeck put it in The Book of the It, ?read [my letters] as though they were travel books or detective stories?. <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn5> It was thus possible to engage not only in narration but also in analysis without the reader becoming aware of the ulterior project.

Writing of Wells?s The Time Machine and Rider Haggard?s She which, Durrell said, embodied for the Victorians ?the great popular myths of the age?, he made a case (in the latter instance by tracing that myth through the Prester John legends to de Mandeville) for these and other ?great folk-metaphors? (Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll/Hyde), that ?their literary ancestry stretches far back into the age of the magicians and miracles?. <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn6> This resort to the merveilleux and the miraculous is one of the trademarks of the baroque novelist, and was an integral part not only of Durrell?s technique but also of his faith in the novel. He made a critical connection between gothic narrative and the myths of magic, showing us that the modern juxtaposition and interaction of science and art is merely another form of an all-embracing philosophy told, like so much of Buddhism, through the visions and spectacles of everyday life. Quotid!
 ian activity, rather than the characters who enact it, has its own characters.


Thus it is easier to spell out the ?miracle?, the successful d?nouement, if it is already anticipated as part of the reader?s act of faith within the act of reading <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn7> It would only be with the c?sura after the Quartet that this faith hit the rocks of Durrell?s despair. To the genre of adventure in Kim we can add Durrell?s childhood introduction to the works of Dickens and, on the evidence of Pied Piper of Lovers, Henty, Ballantyne and Dumas (PPL 124, 192). Durrell?s library contained several examples of Buchan?s work, together with volumes of Baroness Orczy and Anthony Hope <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn8> and he often referred to Wodehouse as an important example of subversive humour ? a technique he put to use not only in the ?Antrobus? pictures from diplomatic life but also in the structure and texture of The Revolt (indeed, as I shall demonstrate in Part 4, there is an organic connection!
  between the two types of writing).

Milan Kundera makes the point that a novel requires four special ?appeals?: those of ?play?, ?dream?, ?thought? and ?time?, <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn9> and it is important to note that it is the combination of seriousness of intent with lightness of touch which gives Durrell?s fiction its onward drive: while he is capable of arresting our attention with some lapidary insight into the human condition, the dynamic in the reader?s mind is the question ?what happens next??. The book must be a place of intellectual excitement which is leavened by the idea of life-as-a-game.

-------------------------------------

Apologies for such a long quote but some on this list may not have Pine's book, which I understand is hard to find in the second edition.

I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him, which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or low.

Maybe I'm ill-versed, but I don't get the rhetoric about the mud bricks.

James Esposito



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/e74874a6/attachment-0001.html>

------------------------------

Message: 4
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 10:44:34 -0700
From: Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
Message-ID:
        <CANDhJnQzTRzn0AeLRbxMQvFQLLMsO5c_54K7ey9wOtZXt4a-sg at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

FYI: http://lawrencedurrell.org/wp_durrell/deus-loci/



On Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 10:34 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
wrote:

> I think Gifford sums up nicely the main issues raised by Esposito.  The
> long quotation is from the 2nd ed. of Pine?s *Mindscape* (2005):
>  114-16.  Durrell?s concern about ?minor mythologies? and literature as
> ?play? is nothing new.  Way back in the Middle Ages the function of
> literature was described as ?to delight and instruct,? and even that
> exhortation probably goes further back to the Romans, at least.  We?re
> probably talking about the context of Durrell?s remark and how he thought
> literature had become too highbrow.  There?s nothing wrong with telling a
> good story and all that that involves?at which Durrell could excel when in
> good form.  On the other hand, he was probably ahead of his time when he
> talks about giving equal weight to the popular literature of the time.  My
> sense is that academics are currently mining that very topic, if in
> somewhat abstruse fashion, that is, buttressed by a lot of Continental
> ?theory.?
>
> Bruce
>
>
>
>
>
> On Mar 24, 2016, at 9:42 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> Hi James,
>
> On 2016-03-24 3:06 AM, james Esposito wrote:
>
> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
> Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
> high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
> attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him,
> which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or
> low.
>
>
> Please, "James" is just fine (no need for the professor bit).  Thanks for
> your comments -- it's always good to have new voices on the listserv.
>
> As for the high modernists, some of it is fairly overt in the text.  He
> even wrote in 1975 that /Panic Spring/ is "a pretty good anthology of the
> styles of the writers I then admired, Huxley, Graves, Aldington, Lawrence,"
> although as usual I think he left the biggest names out of the list...
>
> For instance, Noah seduces/assaults Francis in a scene very much like that
> in the "A Game of Chess" section of T.S. Eliot's /The Waste Land/ or
> between the typist and young man in "The First Sermon" section.  Just in
> case we don't catch what Durrell's up to, Noah asks Francis if she's read
> /The Waste Land/ after having made sure copies of Ezra Pound and Eliot are
> visible in the room.  It's also not really a great surprise since the book
> was published by Faber & Faber where Eliot was an editor and Durrell was in
> correspondence with him.
>
> We get kindred stream of consciousness scenes like Woolf and Joyce in "The
> Music" chapter as well as gestures to shell shock through Marlowe.
> Overall, Durrell's fairly explicit about taking up stylistic and thematic
> models from the high modernists here, and while I think he had an uneasy
> relationship with those predecessors (for instance, in many respects
> substituting Cavafy for Eliot in the Quartet), they're also overt
> influences.
>
> Other gestures to Eliot are fairly overt, such as in the "Walsh" chapter
> when the narrative voice tells us "They walked in the rain together, among
> a torrent of wet dead leaves, wind tugging their hair back on their scalps,
> rain in their mouths and the smell of dead earth" which is quite close to
> the opening lines of /The Waste Land/ (and in the preceding paragraph he
> stresses by repetition the "unreal" like Eliot's "Unreal city" from the
> same).  Francis is also like an "anaesthetised patient" much akin to the
> opening of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and so forth.
>
> Perhaps I should emphasize that I don't see this as a problem -- he's
> reacting to the most famous generation of authors immediately preceding his
> own (and who were editing him...) while challenging and/or extending parts
> of their project in the process of discovering his own.  I think it's to be
> expected, and most authors of his generation did the same.
>
> I don't get the
> rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>
>
> The mud brick figures in his "With Durrell in Egypt" piece (collected in
> /From the Elephant's Back/) -- it's a brick from Hassan Fathy's Gourna
> village.  I've suggested that since Durrell describes reading Fathy's
> /Architecture for the Poor/ in the piece and gives such a prominent place
> in the narrative to a symbol of the utopian project for peasants (the mud
> brick is a key part of Fathy's revival of traditional materials), it's not
> a politically neutral image.  I don't know how specific we might argue the
> "meaning" of the brick in the narrative could be, but I don't think it's
> neutral or random.
>
> Others are arguing that the brick carries no importance, which I find
> unlikely, but to each their own.  I might even hope that it means both
> things at the same time -- Keats, after all, appears frequently in Durrell.
>
> All best,
> James
>
>
> * * * * *
>
> James Esposito, 3/24/2016:
>
>
> I do not have access to "Deus Loci" - I first became aware of Durrell's
> "Minor Mythologies" in Pine's book "Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape" where
> he says:
>
>
> A further characteristic of Durrell?s understanding of the nineteenth
> century was his refusal to build his house exclusively on the plane of
> ?high? literature, and his insistence instead on pursuing it through major
> and minor modes. Thus his own adventure novel *White Eagles over Serbia*,
> written in the Buchanesque style of so much of his early reading, combines
> elements of the detective story and the grail quest. (In the *Quartet* Darley
> criticises the writing of the much-envied Pursewarden: ?what is missing in
> his work - but this is a criticism of all works which do not reach the
> front rank - is a sense of play? - *Quartet* 670.) It is a genre he much
> admired, for example relishing the Quixote-Panza relationship of
> Wodehouse?s Wooster and Jeeves (we have already seen him imagining himself
> as a new Wodehouse). He saw Wooster in descent from ?the great Knights of
> the Romance pattern?, saying ?he is a knight in the sense that he is a
> gentleman absolute. He can do no evil. It is the terrific responsibility of
> wasting time amusingly that exhausts him so?
> <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn1>? a remarkable insight into the
> preoccupations of the one-time dandy faced with all the burdens of
> decadence. (In the same frame of mind he might have held the image of
> Scobie as ?Popeye the Sailor Man? and Nessim as the ?chevalier sans peur? ?
> *Quartet *549.) In the same essay, ?The Minor Mythologies?, Durrell made
> the case for considering the characters of minor fiction in the same
> critical bracket:
>
>
> The myth-making faculty is busy at many different levels; a critic
> interested in the creative process may find more food for thought in a
> Stephen Daedelus [*sic*] than in a Jeeves.Yet he should be prepared to
> acknowledge them both as part of the broad flood of a nation?s literature
> flowing out towards the future, to the sea. Many readers might think it a
> waste of time but how delightful a book on the minor mythologies of the age
> could be made if one could persuade a serious critic to consider its
> figures... Holmes, Jeeves, Dr Fu Manchu, Captain Blood, Bulldog Drummond,
> Raffles, Bones, Captain Nemo, Frankenstein, Dracula.
> <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn2>
>
>
> Durrell himself displayed this ability to give due attention to major and
> minor, firstly in the creation of his own ?minor? canon in works like *White
> Eagles* (which he regarded as ?makeweights?) or in some of the apparently
> inconsequential characters of the island books. Secondly, in his ?major?
> works, Durrell, like Kipling, brought the great and the insignificant into
> close and urgent contact (he called the *Quartet *?such a strange mixture
> of sex and the secret service!? *SP* 120), so much so as to make us
> enquire at what point a character gains or loses cardinal significance: for
> example, the nameless loader who appears and disappears within one
> paragraph of the *Quartet* after the supposed death of Capodistria (
> *Quartet *76- 7), or Krov, the ?slave-prisoner? of General von Esslin (
> *Quintet* 877-83), take on a vital role illustrative of some mythological
> level far out of proportion to their social or narrative function,
> precisely because that function is not part of the cultural values Durrell
> shared with the nineteenth century. Durrell employed this kind of
> simplicity as a means of communication ? one he particularly valued in the
> ?minor mythologies? ? because it made the reader an accomplice at the
> deepest level of story-telling at which the primitive, as opposed to the
> sophisticated, method of narrative is revealed as the more effective
> bonding mechanism of society: <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn3> think of
> Pater?s Marius: ?his life had been so like the reading of a romance to him?,
> <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn4>or, as Groddeck put it in *The Book of the
> It*, ?read [my letters] as though they were travel books or detective
> stories?. <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn5> It was thus possible to engage
> not only in narration but also in analysis without the reader becoming
> aware of the ulterior project.
>
> Writing of Wells?s *The Time Machine* and Rider Haggard?s *She* which,
> Durrell said, embodied for the Victorians ?the great popular myths of the
> age?, he made a case (in the latter instance by tracing that myth through
> the Prester John legends to de Mandeville) for these and other ?great
> folk-metaphors? (Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll/Hyde), that ?their
> literary ancestry stretches far back into the age of the magicians and
> miracles?. <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn6> This resort to the *merveilleux* and
> the miraculous is one of the trademarks of the baroque novelist, and was an
> integral part not only of Durrell?s technique but also of his faith in the
> novel. He made a critical connection between gothic narrative and the myths
> of magic, showing us that the modern juxtaposition and interaction of
> science and art is merely another form of an all-embracing philosophy told,
> like so much of Buddhism, through the visions and spectacles of everyday
> life. Quotidian activity, rather than the characters who enact it, has its
> own characters.
>
>
> Thus it is easier to spell out the ?miracle?, the successful d?nouement,
> if it is already anticipated as part of the reader?s act of faith within
> the act of reading <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn7> It would only be with
> the *c?sura* after the *Quartet* that this faith hit the rocks of
> Durrell?s despair. To the genre of adventure in *Kim* we can add
> Durrell?s childhood introduction to the works of Dickens and, on the
> evidence of *Pied Piper of Lovers*, Henty, Ballantyne and Dumas (*PPL* 124,
> 192). Durrell?s library contained several examples of Buchan?s work,
> together with volumes of Baroness Orczy and Anthony Hope
> <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn8> and he often referred to Wodehouse as an
> important example of subversive humour ? a technique he put to use not only
> in the ?Antrobus? pictures from diplomatic life but also in the structure
> and texture of *The Revolt* (indeed, as I shall demonstrate in Part 4,
> there is an organic connection between the two types of writing).
>
> Milan Kundera makes the point that a novel requires four special
> ?appeals?: those of ?play?, ?dream?, ?thought? and ?time?,
> <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn9> and it is important to note that it is the
> combination of seriousness of intent with lightness of touch which gives
> Durrell?s fiction its onward drive: while he is capable of arresting our
> attention with some lapidary insight into the human condition, the dynamic
> in the reader?s mind is the question ?what happens next??. The book must be
> a place of intellectual excitement which is leavened by the idea of
> life-as-a-game.
>
> -------------------------------------
>
> Apologies for such a long quote but some on this list may not have Pine's
> book, which I understand is hard to find in the second edition.
>
> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
> Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the high
> modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an attempt to
> make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him, which did not
> include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or low.
>
> Maybe I'm ill-versed, but I don't get the rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>
> James Esposito
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/852dd1c3/attachment-0001.html>

------------------------------

Subject: Digest Footer

_______________________________________________
ILDS mailing list
ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds


------------------------------

End of ILDS Digest, Vol 107, Issue 9
************************************



------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2016 00:32:28 +0200
From: james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Mr. esposito
Message-ID:
        <CAFcAaFcGr52-f8sywJjGABCzGpifq-LFdh1=i0+SSFq=HmdyoQ at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

I perhaps did not make myself clear on the subject of Durrell's
relationship to the modernists. Of course he was well aware of the Eliots,
Huxleys, etc, but what I meant was that we should not necessarily assume
'the anxiety of influence' - the fact that there are echoes of Eliot etc in
Durrell's work does not allow us to infer that he deliberately set out to
imitate them or to make obvious references to them - merely that, as a
(still) apprentice writer in the first 2 novels he was setting out his own
stall, not theirs.
And as for Keats, if I remember correctly, he got killed.
As for the mud bricks, I think it's completely far-fetched to read
political persuasions into the fact that Durrell referred to a basic
building material. They were just mud-bricks, not political slogans.
I think there is far too much time and effort spent on trying to analyse
what Durrell may or may not have ingested into his writer's subconscious.
It may be an amusing pastime for academics, but they should be teaching
their students how to enjoy texts and not how to tear them apart. It isn't
'hunting of the snark' territory.
James Esposito


On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 12:14 AM, Ric Wilson <Ric.Wilson at msn.com> wrote:

> Cheers to your perspective! That was a surprise and well received.
>
> Ric Wilson
>
> ________________________________________
> From: ILDS <ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca> on behalf of
> ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca <ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca>
> Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2016 12:00 PM
> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
> Subject: ILDS Digest, Vol 107, Issue 9
>
> Send ILDS mailing list submissions to
>         ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>
> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
>         https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
>         ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca
>
> You can reach the person managing the list at
>         ilds-owner at lists.uvic.ca
>
> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
> than "Re: Contents of ILDS digest..."
>
>
> Today's Topics:
>
>    1. Re: Wordspinners (james Esposito)
>    2. Re: Wordspinners (James Gifford)
>    3. Re: Wordspinners (Bruce Redwine)
>    4. Re: Wordspinners (Kennedy Gammage)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 12:06:45 +0200
> From: james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
> Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
> Message-ID:
>         <CAFcAaFdZUhWx0_oSertAyjKsiafWRVne=
> worc8PFbe2NbU4aAg at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>
> I do not have access to "Deus Loci" - I first became aware of Durrell's
> "Minor Mythologies" in Pine's book "Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape" where
> he says:
>
>
> A further characteristic of Durrell?s understanding of the nineteenth
> century was his refusal to build his house exclusively on the plane of
> ?high? literature, and his insistence instead on pursuing it through major
> and minor modes. Thus his own adventure novel *White Eagles over Serbia*,
> written in the Buchanesque style of so much of his early reading, combines
> elements of the detective story and the grail quest. (In the *Quartet*
> Darley criticises the writing of the much-envied Pursewarden: ?what is
> missing in his work - but this is a criticism of all works which do not
> reach the front rank - is a sense of play? - *Quartet* 670.) It is a genre
> he much admired, for example relishing the Quixote-Panza relationship of
> Wodehouse?s Wooster and Jeeves (we have already seen him imagining himself
> as a new Wodehouse). He saw Wooster in descent from ?the great Knights of
> the Romance pattern?, saying ?he is a knight in the sense that he is a
> gentleman absolute. He can do no evil. It is the terrific responsibility of
> wasting time amusingly that exhausts him so? <#_ftn1>? a remarkable insight
> into the preoccupations of the one-time dandy faced with all the burdens of
> decadence. (In the same frame of mind he might have held the image of
> Scobie as ?Popeye the Sailor Man? and Nessim as the ?chevalier sans
> peur? ? *Quartet
> *549.) In the same essay, ?The Minor Mythologies?, Durrell made the case
> for considering the characters of minor fiction in the same critical
> bracket:
>
>
>
> The myth-making faculty is busy at many different levels; a critic
> interested in the creative process may find more food for thought in a
> Stephen Daedelus [*sic*] than in a Jeeves.Yet he should be prepared to
> acknowledge them both as part of the broad flood of a nation?s literature
> flowing out towards the future, to the sea. Many readers might think it a
> waste of time but how delightful a book on the minor mythologies of the age
> could be made if one could persuade a serious critic to consider its
> figures... Holmes, Jeeves, Dr Fu Manchu, Captain Blood, Bulldog Drummond,
> Raffles, Bones, Captain Nemo, Frankenstein, Dracula. <#_ftn2>
>
>
>
> Durrell himself displayed this ability to give due attention to major and
> minor, firstly in the creation of his own ?minor? canon in works like
> *White
> Eagles* (which he regarded as ?makeweights?) or in some of the apparently
> inconsequential characters of the island books. Secondly, in his ?major?
> works, Durrell, like Kipling, brought the great and the insignificant into
> close and urgent contact (he called the *Quartet *?such a strange mixture
> of sex and the secret service!? *SP* 120), so much so as to make us enquire
> at what point a character gains or loses cardinal significance: for
> example, the nameless loader who appears and disappears within one
> paragraph of the *Quartet* after the supposed death of Capodistria
> (*Quartet
> *76- 7), or Krov, the ?slave-prisoner? of General von Esslin (*Quintet*
> 877-83), take on a vital role illustrative of some mythological level far
> out of proportion to their social or narrative function, precisely because
> that function is not part of the cultural values Durrell shared with the
> nineteenth century. Durrell employed this kind of simplicity as a means of
> communication ? one he particularly valued in the ?minor mythologies? ?
> because it made the reader an accomplice at the deepest level of
> story-telling at which the primitive, as opposed to the sophisticated,
> method of narrative is revealed as the more effective bonding mechanism of
> society: <#_ftn3> think of Pater?s Marius: ?his life had been so like the
> reading of a romance to him?, <#_ftn4>or, as Groddeck put it in *The Book
> of the It*, ?read [my letters] as though they were travel books or
> detective stories?. <#_ftn5> It was thus possible to engage not only in
> narration but also in analysis without the reader becoming aware of the
> ulterior project.
>
> Writing of Wells?s *The Time Machine* and Rider Haggard?s *She* which,
> Durrell said, embodied for the Victorians ?the great popular myths of the
> age?, he made a case (in the latter instance by tracing that myth through
> the Prester John legends to de Mandeville) for these and other ?great
> folk-metaphors? (Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll/Hyde), that ?their
> literary ancestry stretches far back into the age of the magicians and
> miracles?. <#_ftn6> This resort to the *merveilleux* and the miraculous is
> one of the trademarks of the baroque novelist, and was an integral part not
> only of Durrell?s technique but also of his faith in the novel. He made a
> critical connection between gothic narrative and the myths of magic,
> showing us that the modern juxtaposition and interaction of science and art
> is merely another form of an all-embracing philosophy told, like so much of
> Buddhism, through the visions and spectacles of everyday life. Quotidian
> activity, rather than the characters who enact it, has its own characters.
>
>
>
> Thus it is easier to spell out the ?miracle?, the successful d?nouement, if
> it is already anticipated as part of the reader?s act of faith within the
> act of reading <#_ftn7> It would only be with the *c?sura* after the
> *Quartet* that this faith hit the rocks of Durrell?s despair. To the genre
> of adventure in *Kim* we can add Durrell?s childhood introduction to the
> works of Dickens and, on the evidence of *Pied Piper of Lovers*, Henty,
> Ballantyne and Dumas (*PPL* 124, 192). Durrell?s library contained several
> examples of Buchan?s work, together with volumes of Baroness Orczy and
> Anthony Hope <#_ftn8> and he often referred to Wodehouse as an important
> example of subversive humour ? a technique he put to use not only in the
> ?Antrobus? pictures from diplomatic life but also in the structure and
> texture of *The Revolt* (indeed, as I shall demonstrate in Part 4, there is
> an organic connection between the two types of writing).
>
> Milan Kundera makes the point that a novel requires four special ?appeals?:
> those of ?play?, ?dream?, ?thought? and ?time?, <#_ftn9> and it is
> important to note that it is the combination of seriousness of intent with
> lightness of touch which gives Durrell?s fiction its onward drive: while he
> is capable of arresting our attention with some lapidary insight into the
> human condition, the dynamic in the reader?s mind is the question ?what
> happens next??. The book must be a place of intellectual excitement which
> is leavened by the idea of life-as-a-game.
>
> -------------------------------------
>
> Apologies for such a long quote but some on this list may not have Pine's
> book, which I understand is hard to find in the second edition.
>
> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
> Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the high
> modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an attempt to
> make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him, which did not
> include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or low.
>
> Maybe I'm ill-versed, but I don't get the rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>
> James Esposito
>
> ------------------------------
>
>
>
> On Sun, Mar 20, 2016 at 8:03 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Hello all,
> >
> > It's worth noting that thanks to Charles Sligh's excellent editorial
> work,
> > we have Durrell's thoughts on the matter in "The Minor Mythologies" (Deus
> > Loci NS 7 1999-2000). He's certainly not dismissive of "lowbrow"
> > entertainments. Sligh notes it as a "multiform, anti-departmental
> approach
> > to literary production," and I think I'd go along a long way with that.
> And
> > after all, Old D wrote the last 3 volumes of The Quartet at top speed.
> And
> > for money too... Even early on he wrote to emulate the formal effects of
> > the high modernists in Panic Spring, and under a pseudonym, which
> certainly
> > wasn't a good plan to make easy money fast.
> >
> > I'd note that the same Hope Mirrlees who gave the world the remarkable
> and
> > experimental "Paris: A Poem" also wrote the fantasy novel
> Lud-In-The-Mist.
> > I think we'd be foolish not to see a careful mind at work in both texts
> > just as we'd be foolish to exclude the material exigencies of their
> > production. Then again, I've written critical work on comic books...
> >
> > I'll stand by the mud brick in this case, even if I don't roll in the
> muck.
> >
> > All best,
> > James
> >
> > Ps: great to have your contribution James (Esposito)!
> >
> > Sent from my iPad
> >
> > On Mar 19, 2016, at 2:17 PM, Denise Tart & David Green <
> > dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
> >
> > Having written commercially myself, I think it is easy, at least for me,
> > to write with more than one head, so to speak. Writing for magazines and
> > journals to a deadline for pay, sometimes good pay, requires a different
> > mind cast to producing a a good poem; that comes from another place. As a
> > writer Durrell was across multiple genres and wrote for diverse audiences
> > but I agree with Bruce that whether dashing off a potboiler, a travel
> book
> > or a great novel cycle, the strength and beauty of Durrell's poetry comes
> > through them all, yes even Sicilian Carousel, an underrated book in my
> > view. As an actor can play many parts, so can a writer but something of
> his
> > essence flavours them all.
> >
> > David
> >
> > Sent from my iPad
> >
> > On 20 Mar 2016, at 6:05 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> > wrote:
> >
> > Excellent response.  This is the real issue--what's the relationship
> > between Durrell as serious writer and Durrell as hack, greedy or not?  I
> > see the two as directly related, with varying degrees of importance.  A
> > good writer doesn't stop being a good writer simply because he or she
> > writes to make money.  Durrell's Sicilian book and the one on the Greek
> > islands were both written mainly to make money, and he even disparaged
> the
> > former as something of a potboiler.  Both books, however, have many
> > excellent sections and are relevant to his "serious" work and to the man
> > himself.  I would add the Antrobus stories, along with the "ephemeral"
> > pieces, to his body of work.
> >
> > Also, Durrell's commentary on his own habits/objectives should be taken
> > with heaps and heaps of salt.  D. H. Lawrence had it right, in my
> opinion,
> > when he said, more than less, that readers should trust the book and not
> > the author.
> >
> > Bruce
> >
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> > On Mar 19, 2016, at 10:45 AM, james Esposito <
> giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > Forgive me as a newcomer, but surely Lawrence Durrell made it clear that
> > he saw his paid work as distinct from his serious novels,poetry et
> cetera?
> > His boast about the writing of the 'Antrobus' stories and the use to
> which
> > he put the money and the comparison with P G Wodehouse and Proust suggest
> > that he really did see himself as two types of writer. I'm not saying
> that
> > these two writers were entirely separable, but I think Durrell was
> > conscious of a difference in his approach to different tasks - the
> > ephemeral newspaper and magazine assignments and the major works. And
> > perhaps "avaricious hack" is not quite the way to describe him when he
> sat
> > down to quickly write a piece, maybe off the top of his head, which would
> > earn him some necessary money so that he could get back to spending
> quality
> > time on his 'serious' or 'real' (as he called it) work?
> > James Esposito
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > ILDS mailing list
> > ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> > https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
> >
> >
> -------------- next part --------------
> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
> URL: <
> http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/cfefbb43/attachment-0001.html
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:42:23 -0700
> From: James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
> Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
> Message-ID: <56F418EF.4040603 at gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
>
> Hi James,
>
> On 2016-03-24 3:06 AM, james Esposito wrote:
> > I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
> > Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
> > high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
> > attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him,
> > which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or
> > low.
>
> Please, "James" is just fine (no need for the professor bit).  Thanks
> for your comments -- it's always good to have new voices on the listserv.
>
> As for the high modernists, some of it is fairly overt in the text.  He
> even wrote in 1975 that /Panic Spring/ is "a pretty good anthology of
> the styles of the writers I then admired, Huxley, Graves, Aldington,
> Lawrence," although as usual I think he left the biggest names out of
> the list...
>
> For instance, Noah seduces/assaults Francis in a scene very much like
> that in the "A Game of Chess" section of T.S. Eliot's /The Waste Land/
> or between the typist and young man in "The First Sermon" section.  Just
> in case we don't catch what Durrell's up to, Noah asks Francis if she's
> read /The Waste Land/ after having made sure copies of Ezra Pound and
> Eliot are visible in the room.  It's also not really a great surprise
> since the book was published by Faber & Faber where Eliot was an editor
> and Durrell was in correspondence with him.
>
> We get kindred stream of consciousness scenes like Woolf and Joyce in
> "The Music" chapter as well as gestures to shell shock through Marlowe.
>   Overall, Durrell's fairly explicit about taking up stylistic and
> thematic models from the high modernists here, and while I think he had
> an uneasy relationship with those predecessors (for instance, in many
> respects substituting Cavafy for Eliot in the Quartet), they're also
> overt influences.
>
> Other gestures to Eliot are fairly overt, such as in the "Walsh" chapter
> when the narrative voice tells us "They walked in the rain together,
> among a torrent of wet dead leaves, wind tugging their hair back on
> their scalps, rain in their mouths and the smell of dead earth" which is
> quite close to the opening lines of /The Waste Land/ (and in the
> preceding paragraph he stresses by repetition the "unreal" like Eliot's
> "Unreal city" from the same).  Francis is also like an "anaesthetised
> patient" much akin to the opening of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred
> Prufrock" and so forth.
>
> Perhaps I should emphasize that I don't see this as a problem -- he's
> reacting to the most famous generation of authors immediately preceding
> his own (and who were editing him...) while challenging and/or extending
> parts of their project in the process of discovering his own.  I think
> it's to be expected, and most authors of his generation did the same.
>
> > I don't get the
> > rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>
> The mud brick figures in his "With Durrell in Egypt" piece (collected in
> /From the Elephant's Back/) -- it's a brick from Hassan Fathy's Gourna
> village.  I've suggested that since Durrell describes reading Fathy's
> /Architecture for the Poor/ in the piece and gives such a prominent
> place in the narrative to a symbol of the utopian project for peasants
> (the mud brick is a key part of Fathy's revival of traditional
> materials), it's not a politically neutral image.  I don't know how
> specific we might argue the "meaning" of the brick in the narrative
> could be, but I don't think it's neutral or random.
>
> Others are arguing that the brick carries no importance, which I find
> unlikely, but to each their own.  I might even hope that it means both
> things at the same time -- Keats, after all, appears frequently in Durrell.
>
> All best,
> James
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 10:34:09 -0700
> From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> To: James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>,  Sumantra Nag
>         <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
> Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
> Message-ID: <B1B82D61-AE6C-4680-B4D4-04325C1432A4 at earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>
> I think Gifford sums up nicely the main issues raised by Esposito.  The
> long quotation is from the 2nd ed. of Pine?s Mindscape (2005):  114-16.
> Durrell?s concern about ?minor mythologies? and literature as ?play? is
> nothing new.  Way back in the Middle Ages the function of literature was
> described as ?to delight and instruct,? and even that exhortation probably
> goes further back to the Romans, at least.  We?re probably talking about
> the context of Durrell?s remark and how he thought literature had become
> too highbrow.  There?s nothing wrong with telling a good story and all that
> that involves?at which Durrell could excel when in good form.  On the other
> hand, he was probably ahead of his time when he talks about giving equal
> weight to the popular literature of the time.  My sense is that academics
> are currently mining that very topic, if in somewhat abstruse fashion, that
> is, buttressed by a lot of Continental ?theory.?
>
> Bruce
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Mar 24, 2016, at 9:42 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > Hi James,
> >
> > On 2016-03-24 3:06 AM, james Esposito wrote:
> >> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
> >> Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
> >> high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
> >> attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him,
> >> which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or
> >> low.
> >
> > Please, "James" is just fine (no need for the professor bit).  Thanks
> for your comments -- it's always good to have new voices on the listserv.
> >
> > As for the high modernists, some of it is fairly overt in the text.  He
> even wrote in 1975 that /Panic Spring/ is "a pretty good anthology of the
> styles of the writers I then admired, Huxley, Graves, Aldington, Lawrence,"
> although as usual I think he left the biggest names out of the list...
> >
> > For instance, Noah seduces/assaults Francis in a scene very much like
> that in the "A Game of Chess" section of T.S. Eliot's /The Waste Land/ or
> between the typist and young man in "The First Sermon" section.  Just in
> case we don't catch what Durrell's up to, Noah asks Francis if she's read
> /The Waste Land/ after having made sure copies of Ezra Pound and Eliot are
> visible in the room.  It's also not really a great surprise since the book
> was published by Faber & Faber where Eliot was an editor and Durrell was in
> correspondence with him.
> >
> > We get kindred stream of consciousness scenes like Woolf and Joyce in
> "The Music" chapter as well as gestures to shell shock through Marlowe.
> Overall, Durrell's fairly explicit about taking up stylistic and thematic
> models from the high modernists here, and while I think he had an uneasy
> relationship with those predecessors (for instance, in many respects
> substituting Cavafy for Eliot in the Quartet), they're also overt
> influences.
> >
> > Other gestures to Eliot are fairly overt, such as in the "Walsh" chapter
> when the narrative voice tells us "They walked in the rain together, among
> a torrent of wet dead leaves, wind tugging their hair back on their scalps,
> rain in their mouths and the smell of dead earth" which is quite close to
> the opening lines of /The Waste Land/ (and in the preceding paragraph he
> stresses by repetition the "unreal" like Eliot's "Unreal city" from the
> same).  Francis is also like an "anaesthetised patient" much akin to the
> opening of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and so forth.
> >
> > Perhaps I should emphasize that I don't see this as a problem -- he's
> reacting to the most famous generation of authors immediately preceding his
> own (and who were editing him...) while challenging and/or extending parts
> of their project in the process of discovering his own.  I think it's to be
> expected, and most authors of his generation did the same.
> >
> >> I don't get the
> >> rhetoric about the mud bricks.
> >
> > The mud brick figures in his "With Durrell in Egypt" piece (collected in
> /From the Elephant's Back/) -- it's a brick from Hassan Fathy's Gourna
> village.  I've suggested that since Durrell describes reading Fathy's
> /Architecture for the Poor/ in the piece and gives such a prominent place
> in the narrative to a symbol of the utopian project for peasants (the mud
> brick is a key part of Fathy's revival of traditional materials), it's not
> a politically neutral image.  I don't know how specific we might argue the
> "meaning" of the brick in the narrative could be, but I don't think it's
> neutral or random.
> >
> > Others are arguing that the brick carries no importance, which I find
> unlikely, but to each their own.  I might even hope that it means both
> things at the same time -- Keats, after all, appears frequently in Durrell.
> >
> > All best,
> > James
> >
>
> * * * * *
>
> James Esposito, 3/24/2016:
>
>
> I do not have access to "Deus Loci" - I first became aware of Durrell's
> "Minor Mythologies" in Pine's book "Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape" where
> he says:
>
>
> A further characteristic of Durrell?s understanding of the nineteenth
> century was his refusal to build his house exclusively on the plane of
> ?high? literature, and his insistence instead on pursuing it through major
> and minor modes. Thus his own adventure novel White Eagles over Serbia,
> written in the Buchanesque style of so much of his early reading, combines
> elements of the detective story and the grail quest. (In the Quartet Darley
> criticises the writing of the much-envied Pursewarden: ?what is missing in
> his work - but this is a criticism of all works which do not reach the
> front rank - is a sense of play? - Quartet 670.) It is a genre he much
> admired, for example relishing the Quixote-Panza relationship of
> Wodehouse?s Wooster and Jeeves (we have already seen him imagining himself
> as a new Wodehouse). He saw Wooster in descent from ?the great Knights of
> the Romance pattern?, saying ?he is a knight in the sense that he is a
> gentleman absolute. He can do no evil. It is the!
>   terrific responsibility of wasting time amusingly that exhausts him so?
> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn1>? a remarkable
> insight into the preoccupations of the one-time dandy faced with all the
> burdens of decadence. (In the same frame of mind he might have held the
> image of Scobie as ?Popeye the Sailor Man? and Nessim as the ?chevalier
> sans peur? ? Quartet 549.) In the same essay, ?The Minor Mythologies?,
> Durrell made the case for considering the characters of minor fiction in
> the same critical bracket:
>
>
> The myth-making faculty is busy at many different levels; a critic
> interested in the creative process may find more food for thought in a
> Stephen Daedelus [sic] than in a Jeeves.Yet he should be prepared to
> acknowledge them both as part of the broad flood of a nation?s literature
> flowing out towards the future, to the sea. Many readers might think it a
> waste of time but how delightful a book on the minor mythologies of the age
> could be made if one could persuade a serious critic to consider its
> figures... Holmes, Jeeves, Dr Fu Manchu, Captain Blood, Bulldog Drummond,
> Raffles, Bones, Captain Nemo, Frankenstein, Dracula.
> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn2>
>
> Durrell himself displayed this ability to give due attention to major and
> minor, firstly in the creation of his own ?minor? canon in works like White
> Eagles (which he regarded as ?makeweights?) or in some of the apparently
> inconsequential characters of the island books. Secondly, in his ?major?
> works, Durrell, like Kipling, brought the great and the insignificant into
> close and urgent contact (he called the Quartet ?such a strange mixture of
> sex and the secret service!? SP 120), so much so as to make us enquire at
> what point a character gains or loses cardinal significance: for example,
> the nameless loader who appears and disappears within one paragraph of the
> Quartet after the supposed death of Capodistria (Quartet 76- 7), or Krov,
> the ?slave-prisoner? of General von Esslin (Quintet 877-83), take on a
> vital role illustrative of some mythological level far out of proportion to
> their social or narrative function, precisely because that function is not
> part of the cultural val!
>  ues Durrell shared with the nineteenth century. Durrell employed this
> kind of simplicity as a means of communication ? one he particularly valued
> in the ?minor mythologies? ? because it made the reader an accomplice at
> the deepest level of story-telling at which the primitive, as opposed to
> the sophisticated, method of narrative is revealed as the more effective
> bonding mechanism of society:
> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn3> think of
> Pater?s Marius: ?his life had been so like the reading of a romance to
> him?, <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn4>or, as
> Groddeck put it in The Book of the It, ?read [my letters] as though they
> were travel books or detective stories?.
> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn5> It was thus
> possible to engage not only in narration but also in analysis without the
> reader becoming aware of the ulterior project.
>
> Writing of Wells?s The Time Machine and Rider Haggard?s She which, Durrell
> said, embodied for the Victorians ?the great popular myths of the age?, he
> made a case (in the latter instance by tracing that myth through the
> Prester John legends to de Mandeville) for these and other ?great
> folk-metaphors? (Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll/Hyde), that ?their
> literary ancestry stretches far back into the age of the magicians and
> miracles?. <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn6> This
> resort to the merveilleux and the miraculous is one of the trademarks of
> the baroque novelist, and was an integral part not only of Durrell?s
> technique but also of his faith in the novel. He made a critical connection
> between gothic narrative and the myths of magic, showing us that the modern
> juxtaposition and interaction of science and art is merely another form of
> an all-embracing philosophy told, like so much of Buddhism, through the
> visions and spectacles of everyday life. Quotid!
>  ian activity, rather than the characters who enact it, has its own
> characters.
>
>
> Thus it is easier to spell out the ?miracle?, the successful d?nouement,
> if it is already anticipated as part of the reader?s act of faith within
> the act of reading
> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn7> It would only
> be with the c?sura after the Quartet that this faith hit the rocks of
> Durrell?s despair. To the genre of adventure in Kim we can add Durrell?s
> childhood introduction to the works of Dickens and, on the evidence of Pied
> Piper of Lovers, Henty, Ballantyne and Dumas (PPL 124, 192). Durrell?s
> library contained several examples of Buchan?s work, together with volumes
> of Baroness Orczy and Anthony Hope
> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn8> and he often
> referred to Wodehouse as an important example of subversive humour ? a
> technique he put to use not only in the ?Antrobus? pictures from diplomatic
> life but also in the structure and texture of The Revolt (indeed, as I
> shall demonstrate in Part 4, there is an organic connection!
>   between the two types of writing).
>
> Milan Kundera makes the point that a novel requires four special
> ?appeals?: those of ?play?, ?dream?, ?thought? and ?time?,
> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn9> and it is
> important to note that it is the combination of seriousness of intent with
> lightness of touch which gives Durrell?s fiction its onward drive: while he
> is capable of arresting our attention with some lapidary insight into the
> human condition, the dynamic in the reader?s mind is the question ?what
> happens next??. The book must be a place of intellectual excitement which
> is leavened by the idea of life-as-a-game.
>
> -------------------------------------
>
> Apologies for such a long quote but some on this list may not have Pine's
> book, which I understand is hard to find in the second edition.
>
> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
> Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the high
> modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an attempt to
> make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him, which did not
> include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or low.
>
> Maybe I'm ill-versed, but I don't get the rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>
> James Esposito
>
>
>
> -------------- next part --------------
> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
> URL: <
> http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/e74874a6/attachment-0001.html
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 10:44:34 -0700
> From: Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com>
> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
> Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
> Message-ID:
>         <
> CANDhJnQzTRzn0AeLRbxMQvFQLLMsO5c_54K7ey9wOtZXt4a-sg at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>
> FYI: http://lawrencedurrell.org/wp_durrell/deus-loci/
>
>
>
> On Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 10:34 AM, Bruce Redwine <
> bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> wrote:
>
> > I think Gifford sums up nicely the main issues raised by Esposito.  The
> > long quotation is from the 2nd ed. of Pine?s *Mindscape* (2005):
> >  114-16.  Durrell?s concern about ?minor mythologies? and literature as
> > ?play? is nothing new.  Way back in the Middle Ages the function of
> > literature was described as ?to delight and instruct,? and even that
> > exhortation probably goes further back to the Romans, at least.  We?re
> > probably talking about the context of Durrell?s remark and how he thought
> > literature had become too highbrow.  There?s nothing wrong with telling a
> > good story and all that that involves?at which Durrell could excel when
> in
> > good form.  On the other hand, he was probably ahead of his time when he
> > talks about giving equal weight to the popular literature of the time.
> My
> > sense is that academics are currently mining that very topic, if in
> > somewhat abstruse fashion, that is, buttressed by a lot of Continental
> > ?theory.?
> >
> > Bruce
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Mar 24, 2016, at 9:42 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > Hi James,
> >
> > On 2016-03-24 3:06 AM, james Esposito wrote:
> >
> > I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
> > Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
> > high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
> > attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him,
> > which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or
> > low.
> >
> >
> > Please, "James" is just fine (no need for the professor bit).  Thanks for
> > your comments -- it's always good to have new voices on the listserv.
> >
> > As for the high modernists, some of it is fairly overt in the text.  He
> > even wrote in 1975 that /Panic Spring/ is "a pretty good anthology of the
> > styles of the writers I then admired, Huxley, Graves, Aldington,
> Lawrence,"
> > although as usual I think he left the biggest names out of the list...
> >
> > For instance, Noah seduces/assaults Francis in a scene very much like
> that
> > in the "A Game of Chess" section of T.S. Eliot's /The Waste Land/ or
> > between the typist and young man in "The First Sermon" section.  Just in
> > case we don't catch what Durrell's up to, Noah asks Francis if she's read
> > /The Waste Land/ after having made sure copies of Ezra Pound and Eliot
> are
> > visible in the room.  It's also not really a great surprise since the
> book
> > was published by Faber & Faber where Eliot was an editor and Durrell was
> in
> > correspondence with him.
> >
> > We get kindred stream of consciousness scenes like Woolf and Joyce in
> "The
> > Music" chapter as well as gestures to shell shock through Marlowe.
> > Overall, Durrell's fairly explicit about taking up stylistic and thematic
> > models from the high modernists here, and while I think he had an uneasy
> > relationship with those predecessors (for instance, in many respects
> > substituting Cavafy for Eliot in the Quartet), they're also overt
> > influences.
> >
> > Other gestures to Eliot are fairly overt, such as in the "Walsh" chapter
> > when the narrative voice tells us "They walked in the rain together,
> among
> > a torrent of wet dead leaves, wind tugging their hair back on their
> scalps,
> > rain in their mouths and the smell of dead earth" which is quite close to
> > the opening lines of /The Waste Land/ (and in the preceding paragraph he
> > stresses by repetition the "unreal" like Eliot's "Unreal city" from the
> > same).  Francis is also like an "anaesthetised patient" much akin to the
> > opening of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and so forth.
> >
> > Perhaps I should emphasize that I don't see this as a problem -- he's
> > reacting to the most famous generation of authors immediately preceding
> his
> > own (and who were editing him...) while challenging and/or extending
> parts
> > of their project in the process of discovering his own.  I think it's to
> be
> > expected, and most authors of his generation did the same.
> >
> > I don't get the
> > rhetoric about the mud bricks.
> >
> >
> > The mud brick figures in his "With Durrell in Egypt" piece (collected in
> > /From the Elephant's Back/) -- it's a brick from Hassan Fathy's Gourna
> > village.  I've suggested that since Durrell describes reading Fathy's
> > /Architecture for the Poor/ in the piece and gives such a prominent place
> > in the narrative to a symbol of the utopian project for peasants (the mud
> > brick is a key part of Fathy's revival of traditional materials), it's
> not
> > a politically neutral image.  I don't know how specific we might argue
> the
> > "meaning" of the brick in the narrative could be, but I don't think it's
> > neutral or random.
> >
> > Others are arguing that the brick carries no importance, which I find
> > unlikely, but to each their own.  I might even hope that it means both
> > things at the same time -- Keats, after all, appears frequently in
> Durrell.
> >
> > All best,
> > James
> >
> >
> > * * * * *
> >
> > James Esposito, 3/24/2016:
> >
> >
> > I do not have access to "Deus Loci" - I first became aware of Durrell's
> > "Minor Mythologies" in Pine's book "Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape"
> where
> > he says:
> >
> >
> > A further characteristic of Durrell?s understanding of the nineteenth
> > century was his refusal to build his house exclusively on the plane of
> > ?high? literature, and his insistence instead on pursuing it through
> major
> > and minor modes. Thus his own adventure novel *White Eagles over Serbia*,
> > written in the Buchanesque style of so much of his early reading,
> combines
> > elements of the detective story and the grail quest. (In the *Quartet*
> Darley
> > criticises the writing of the much-envied Pursewarden: ?what is missing
> in
> > his work - but this is a criticism of all works which do not reach the
> > front rank - is a sense of play? - *Quartet* 670.) It is a genre he much
> > admired, for example relishing the Quixote-Panza relationship of
> > Wodehouse?s Wooster and Jeeves (we have already seen him imagining
> himself
> > as a new Wodehouse). He saw Wooster in descent from ?the great Knights of
> > the Romance pattern?, saying ?he is a knight in the sense that he is a
> > gentleman absolute. He can do no evil. It is the terrific responsibility
> of
> > wasting time amusingly that exhausts him so?
> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn1>? a remarkable insight into the
> > preoccupations of the one-time dandy faced with all the burdens of
> > decadence. (In the same frame of mind he might have held the image of
> > Scobie as ?Popeye the Sailor Man? and Nessim as the ?chevalier sans
> peur? ?
> > *Quartet *549.) In the same essay, ?The Minor Mythologies?, Durrell made
> > the case for considering the characters of minor fiction in the same
> > critical bracket:
> >
> >
> > The myth-making faculty is busy at many different levels; a critic
> > interested in the creative process may find more food for thought in a
> > Stephen Daedelus [*sic*] than in a Jeeves.Yet he should be prepared to
> > acknowledge them both as part of the broad flood of a nation?s literature
> > flowing out towards the future, to the sea. Many readers might think it a
> > waste of time but how delightful a book on the minor mythologies of the
> age
> > could be made if one could persuade a serious critic to consider its
> > figures... Holmes, Jeeves, Dr Fu Manchu, Captain Blood, Bulldog Drummond,
> > Raffles, Bones, Captain Nemo, Frankenstein, Dracula.
> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn2>
> >
> >
> > Durrell himself displayed this ability to give due attention to major and
> > minor, firstly in the creation of his own ?minor? canon in works like
> *White
> > Eagles* (which he regarded as ?makeweights?) or in some of the apparently
> > inconsequential characters of the island books. Secondly, in his ?major?
> > works, Durrell, like Kipling, brought the great and the insignificant
> into
> > close and urgent contact (he called the *Quartet *?such a strange mixture
> > of sex and the secret service!? *SP* 120), so much so as to make us
> > enquire at what point a character gains or loses cardinal significance:
> for
> > example, the nameless loader who appears and disappears within one
> > paragraph of the *Quartet* after the supposed death of Capodistria (
> > *Quartet *76- 7), or Krov, the ?slave-prisoner? of General von Esslin (
> > *Quintet* 877-83), take on a vital role illustrative of some mythological
> > level far out of proportion to their social or narrative function,
> > precisely because that function is not part of the cultural values
> Durrell
> > shared with the nineteenth century. Durrell employed this kind of
> > simplicity as a means of communication ? one he particularly valued in
> the
> > ?minor mythologies? ? because it made the reader an accomplice at the
> > deepest level of story-telling at which the primitive, as opposed to the
> > sophisticated, method of narrative is revealed as the more effective
> > bonding mechanism of society: <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn3> think of
> > Pater?s Marius: ?his life had been so like the reading of a romance to
> him?,
> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn4>or, as Groddeck put it in *The Book of the
> > It*, ?read [my letters] as though they were travel books or detective
> > stories?. <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn5> It was thus possible to engage
> > not only in narration but also in analysis without the reader becoming
> > aware of the ulterior project.
> >
> > Writing of Wells?s *The Time Machine* and Rider Haggard?s *She* which,
> > Durrell said, embodied for the Victorians ?the great popular myths of the
> > age?, he made a case (in the latter instance by tracing that myth through
> > the Prester John legends to de Mandeville) for these and other ?great
> > folk-metaphors? (Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll/Hyde), that ?their
> > literary ancestry stretches far back into the age of the magicians and
> > miracles?. <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn6> This resort to the
> *merveilleux* and
> > the miraculous is one of the trademarks of the baroque novelist, and was
> an
> > integral part not only of Durrell?s technique but also of his faith in
> the
> > novel. He made a critical connection between gothic narrative and the
> myths
> > of magic, showing us that the modern juxtaposition and interaction of
> > science and art is merely another form of an all-embracing philosophy
> told,
> > like so much of Buddhism, through the visions and spectacles of everyday
> > life. Quotidian activity, rather than the characters who enact it, has
> its
> > own characters.
> >
> >
> > Thus it is easier to spell out the ?miracle?, the successful d?nouement,
> > if it is already anticipated as part of the reader?s act of faith within
> > the act of reading <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn7> It would only be with
> > the *c?sura* after the *Quartet* that this faith hit the rocks of
> > Durrell?s despair. To the genre of adventure in *Kim* we can add
> > Durrell?s childhood introduction to the works of Dickens and, on the
> > evidence of *Pied Piper of Lovers*, Henty, Ballantyne and Dumas (*PPL*
> 124,
> > 192). Durrell?s library contained several examples of Buchan?s work,
> > together with volumes of Baroness Orczy and Anthony Hope
> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn8> and he often referred to Wodehouse as an
> > important example of subversive humour ? a technique he put to use not
> only
> > in the ?Antrobus? pictures from diplomatic life but also in the structure
> > and texture of *The Revolt* (indeed, as I shall demonstrate in Part 4,
> > there is an organic connection between the two types of writing).
> >
> > Milan Kundera makes the point that a novel requires four special
> > ?appeals?: those of ?play?, ?dream?, ?thought? and ?time?,
> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn9> and it is important to note that it is the
> > combination of seriousness of intent with lightness of touch which gives
> > Durrell?s fiction its onward drive: while he is capable of arresting our
> > attention with some lapidary insight into the human condition, the
> dynamic
> > in the reader?s mind is the question ?what happens next??. The book must
> be
> > a place of intellectual excitement which is leavened by the idea of
> > life-as-a-game.
> >
> > -------------------------------------
> >
> > Apologies for such a long quote but some on this list may not have Pine's
> > book, which I understand is hard to find in the second edition.
> >
> > I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
> > Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the high
> > modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an attempt
> to
> > make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him, which did not
> > include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or low.
> >
> > Maybe I'm ill-versed, but I don't get the rhetoric about the mud bricks.
> >
> > James Esposito
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > ILDS mailing list
> > ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> > https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
> >
> >
> -------------- next part --------------
> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
> URL: <
> http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/852dd1c3/attachment-0001.html
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Subject: Digest Footer
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> End of ILDS Digest, Vol 107, Issue 9
> ************************************
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160325/d7926847/attachment-0001.html>

------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2016 10:05:17 +1100
From: Denise Tart & David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Mr. esposito
Message-ID: <D83EA3BC-7CA5-439C-A85B-257EF9FE81DF at bigpond.net.au>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

James,

Keats died of tuberculosis at the age of 25.

Yes, it is easy to read too much into things. A writers subconscious is a remote galaxy hard to explore. However, we do know a lot about Durrell's reading matter and his literary and spiritual influences. Nonetheless,  your words remind me of a poem:

"To think about poetry
While writing poetry
Can lead to bad writing.
Being immersed in washing up
Is enough.
Thinking may not add
But subtract;
Like taking one's consciousness
Too seriously."

Teaching English Lit for enjoyment rather than critical analysis or endless deconstruction, now there's a new thing. I have often wondered if Shakespeare would appear so brilliant had he not been subjected to 400 years of critical analysis by thousands of people?

But James I am sure glad I am not a practising academic; they sure cop it on this list-serve. I am surprise professor James Gifford has not abjured the world and gone into the shadows.

David


Sent from my iPad

> On 25 Mar 2016, at 9:32 AM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I perhaps did not make myself clear on the subject of Durrell's relationship to the modernists. Of course he was well aware of the Eliots, Huxleys, etc, but what I meant was that we should not necessarily assume 'the anxiety of influence' - the fact that there are echoes of Eliot etc in Durrell's work does not allow us to infer that he deliberately set out to imitate them or to make obvious references to them - merely that, as a (still) apprentice writer in the first 2 novels he was setting out his own stall, not theirs.
> And as for Keats, if I remember correctly, he got killed.
> As for the mud bricks, I think it's completely far-fetched to read political persuasions into the fact that Durrell referred to a basic building material. They were just mud-bricks, not political slogans.
> I think there is far too much time and effort spent on trying to analyse what Durrell may or may not have ingested into his writer's subconscious. It may be an amusing pastime for academics, but they should be teaching their students how to enjoy texts and not how to tear them apart. It isn't 'hunting of the snark' territory.
> James Esposito
>
>
>> On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 12:14 AM, Ric Wilson <Ric.Wilson at msn.com> wrote:
>> Cheers to your perspective! That was a surprise and well received.
>>
>> Ric Wilson
>>
>> ________________________________________
>> From: ILDS <ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca> on behalf of ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca <ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca>
>> Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2016 12:00 PM
>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Subject: ILDS Digest, Vol 107, Issue 9
>>
>> Send ILDS mailing list submissions to
>>         ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>>
>> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
>>         https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
>>         ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca
>>
>> You can reach the person managing the list at
>>         ilds-owner at lists.uvic.ca
>>
>> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
>> than "Re: Contents of ILDS digest..."
>>
>>
>> Today's Topics:
>>
>>    1. Re: Wordspinners (james Esposito)
>>    2. Re: Wordspinners (James Gifford)
>>    3. Re: Wordspinners (Bruce Redwine)
>>    4. Re: Wordspinners (Kennedy Gammage)
>>
>>
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 12:06:45 +0200
>> From: james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
>> Message-ID:
>>         <CAFcAaFdZUhWx0_oSertAyjKsiafWRVne=worc8PFbe2NbU4aAg at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>>
>> I do not have access to "Deus Loci" - I first became aware of Durrell's
>> "Minor Mythologies" in Pine's book "Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape" where
>> he says:
>>
>>
>> A further characteristic of Durrell?s understanding of the nineteenth
>> century was his refusal to build his house exclusively on the plane of
>> ?high? literature, and his insistence instead on pursuing it through major
>> and minor modes. Thus his own adventure novel *White Eagles over Serbia*,
>> written in the Buchanesque style of so much of his early reading, combines
>> elements of the detective story and the grail quest. (In the *Quartet*
>> Darley criticises the writing of the much-envied Pursewarden: ?what is
>> missing in his work - but this is a criticism of all works which do not
>> reach the front rank - is a sense of play? - *Quartet* 670.) It is a genre
>> he much admired, for example relishing the Quixote-Panza relationship of
>> Wodehouse?s Wooster and Jeeves (we have already seen him imagining himself
>> as a new Wodehouse). He saw Wooster in descent from ?the great Knights of
>> the Romance pattern?, saying ?he is a knight in the sense that he is a
>> gentleman absolute. He can do no evil. It is the terrific responsibility of
>> wasting time amusingly that exhausts him so? <#_ftn1>? a remarkable insight
>> into the preoccupations of the one-time dandy faced with all the burdens of
>> decadence. (In the same frame of mind he might have held the image of
>> Scobie as ?Popeye the Sailor Man? and Nessim as the ?chevalier sans
>> peur? ? *Quartet
>> *549.) In the same essay, ?The Minor Mythologies?, Durrell made the case
>> for considering the characters of minor fiction in the same critical
>> bracket:
>>
>>
>>
>> The myth-making faculty is busy at many different levels; a critic
>> interested in the creative process may find more food for thought in a
>> Stephen Daedelus [*sic*] than in a Jeeves.Yet he should be prepared to
>> acknowledge them both as part of the broad flood of a nation?s literature
>> flowing out towards the future, to the sea. Many readers might think it a
>> waste of time but how delightful a book on the minor mythologies of the age
>> could be made if one could persuade a serious critic to consider its
>> figures... Holmes, Jeeves, Dr Fu Manchu, Captain Blood, Bulldog Drummond,
>> Raffles, Bones, Captain Nemo, Frankenstein, Dracula. <#_ftn2>
>>
>>
>>
>> Durrell himself displayed this ability to give due attention to major and
>> minor, firstly in the creation of his own ?minor? canon in works like *White
>> Eagles* (which he regarded as ?makeweights?) or in some of the apparently
>> inconsequential characters of the island books. Secondly, in his ?major?
>> works, Durrell, like Kipling, brought the great and the insignificant into
>> close and urgent contact (he called the *Quartet *?such a strange mixture
>> of sex and the secret service!? *SP* 120), so much so as to make us enquire
>> at what point a character gains or loses cardinal significance: for
>> example, the nameless loader who appears and disappears within one
>> paragraph of the *Quartet* after the supposed death of Capodistria (*Quartet
>> *76- 7), or Krov, the ?slave-prisoner? of General von Esslin (*Quintet*
>> 877-83), take on a vital role illustrative of some mythological level far
>> out of proportion to their social or narrative function, precisely because
>> that function is not part of the cultural values Durrell shared with the
>> nineteenth century. Durrell employed this kind of simplicity as a means of
>> communication ? one he particularly valued in the ?minor mythologies? ?
>> because it made the reader an accomplice at the deepest level of
>> story-telling at which the primitive, as opposed to the sophisticated,
>> method of narrative is revealed as the more effective bonding mechanism of
>> society: <#_ftn3> think of Pater?s Marius: ?his life had been so like the
>> reading of a romance to him?, <#_ftn4>or, as Groddeck put it in *The Book
>> of the It*, ?read [my letters] as though they were travel books or
>> detective stories?. <#_ftn5> It was thus possible to engage not only in
>> narration but also in analysis without the reader becoming aware of the
>> ulterior project.
>>
>> Writing of Wells?s *The Time Machine* and Rider Haggard?s *She* which,
>> Durrell said, embodied for the Victorians ?the great popular myths of the
>> age?, he made a case (in the latter instance by tracing that myth through
>> the Prester John legends to de Mandeville) for these and other ?great
>> folk-metaphors? (Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll/Hyde), that ?their
>> literary ancestry stretches far back into the age of the magicians and
>> miracles?. <#_ftn6> This resort to the *merveilleux* and the miraculous is
>> one of the trademarks of the baroque novelist, and was an integral part not
>> only of Durrell?s technique but also of his faith in the novel. He made a
>> critical connection between gothic narrative and the myths of magic,
>> showing us that the modern juxtaposition and interaction of science and art
>> is merely another form of an all-embracing philosophy told, like so much of
>> Buddhism, through the visions and spectacles of everyday life. Quotidian
>> activity, rather than the characters who enact it, has its own characters.
>>
>>
>>
>> Thus it is easier to spell out the ?miracle?, the successful d?nouement, if
>> it is already anticipated as part of the reader?s act of faith within the
>> act of reading <#_ftn7> It would only be with the *c?sura* after the
>> *Quartet* that this faith hit the rocks of Durrell?s despair. To the genre
>> of adventure in *Kim* we can add Durrell?s childhood introduction to the
>> works of Dickens and, on the evidence of *Pied Piper of Lovers*, Henty,
>> Ballantyne and Dumas (*PPL* 124, 192). Durrell?s library contained several
>> examples of Buchan?s work, together with volumes of Baroness Orczy and
>> Anthony Hope <#_ftn8> and he often referred to Wodehouse as an important
>> example of subversive humour ? a technique he put to use not only in the
>> ?Antrobus? pictures from diplomatic life but also in the structure and
>> texture of *The Revolt* (indeed, as I shall demonstrate in Part 4, there is
>> an organic connection between the two types of writing).
>>
>> Milan Kundera makes the point that a novel requires four special ?appeals?:
>> those of ?play?, ?dream?, ?thought? and ?time?, <#_ftn9> and it is
>> important to note that it is the combination of seriousness of intent with
>> lightness of touch which gives Durrell?s fiction its onward drive: while he
>> is capable of arresting our attention with some lapidary insight into the
>> human condition, the dynamic in the reader?s mind is the question ?what
>> happens next??. The book must be a place of intellectual excitement which
>> is leavened by the idea of life-as-a-game.
>>
>> -------------------------------------
>>
>> Apologies for such a long quote but some on this list may not have Pine's
>> book, which I understand is hard to find in the second edition.
>>
>> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
>> Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the high
>> modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an attempt to
>> make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him, which did not
>> include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or low.
>>
>> Maybe I'm ill-versed, but I don't get the rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>>
>> James Esposito
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sun, Mar 20, 2016 at 8:03 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > Hello all,
>> >
>> > It's worth noting that thanks to Charles Sligh's excellent editorial work,
>> > we have Durrell's thoughts on the matter in "The Minor Mythologies" (Deus
>> > Loci NS 7 1999-2000). He's certainly not dismissive of "lowbrow"
>> > entertainments. Sligh notes it as a "multiform, anti-departmental approach
>> > to literary production," and I think I'd go along a long way with that. And
>> > after all, Old D wrote the last 3 volumes of The Quartet at top speed. And
>> > for money too... Even early on he wrote to emulate the formal effects of
>> > the high modernists in Panic Spring, and under a pseudonym, which certainly
>> > wasn't a good plan to make easy money fast.
>> >
>> > I'd note that the same Hope Mirrlees who gave the world the remarkable and
>> > experimental "Paris: A Poem" also wrote the fantasy novel Lud-In-The-Mist.
>> > I think we'd be foolish not to see a careful mind at work in both texts
>> > just as we'd be foolish to exclude the material exigencies of their
>> > production. Then again, I've written critical work on comic books...
>> >
>> > I'll stand by the mud brick in this case, even if I don't roll in the muck.
>> >
>> > All best,
>> > James
>> >
>> > Ps: great to have your contribution James (Esposito)!
>> >
>> > Sent from my iPad
>> >
>> > On Mar 19, 2016, at 2:17 PM, Denise Tart & David Green <
>> > dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
>> >
>> > Having written commercially myself, I think it is easy, at least for me,
>> > to write with more than one head, so to speak. Writing for magazines and
>> > journals to a deadline for pay, sometimes good pay, requires a different
>> > mind cast to producing a a good poem; that comes from another place. As a
>> > writer Durrell was across multiple genres and wrote for diverse audiences
>> > but I agree with Bruce that whether dashing off a potboiler, a travel book
>> > or a great novel cycle, the strength and beauty of Durrell's poetry comes
>> > through them all, yes even Sicilian Carousel, an underrated book in my
>> > view. As an actor can play many parts, so can a writer but something of his
>> > essence flavours them all.
>> >
>> > David
>> >
>> > Sent from my iPad
>> >
>> > On 20 Mar 2016, at 6:05 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > Excellent response.  This is the real issue--what's the relationship
>> > between Durrell as serious writer and Durrell as hack, greedy or not?  I
>> > see the two as directly related, with varying degrees of importance.  A
>> > good writer doesn't stop being a good writer simply because he or she
>> > writes to make money.  Durrell's Sicilian book and the one on the Greek
>> > islands were both written mainly to make money, and he even disparaged the
>> > former as something of a potboiler.  Both books, however, have many
>> > excellent sections and are relevant to his "serious" work and to the man
>> > himself.  I would add the Antrobus stories, along with the "ephemeral"
>> > pieces, to his body of work.
>> >
>> > Also, Durrell's commentary on his own habits/objectives should be taken
>> > with heaps and heaps of salt.  D. H. Lawrence had it right, in my opinion,
>> > when he said, more than less, that readers should trust the book and not
>> > the author.
>> >
>> > Bruce
>> >
>> >
>> > Sent from my iPhone
>> >
>> > On Mar 19, 2016, at 10:45 AM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > Forgive me as a newcomer, but surely Lawrence Durrell made it clear that
>> > he saw his paid work as distinct from his serious novels,poetry et cetera?
>> > His boast about the writing of the 'Antrobus' stories and the use to which
>> > he put the money and the comparison with P G Wodehouse and Proust suggest
>> > that he really did see himself as two types of writer. I'm not saying that
>> > these two writers were entirely separable, but I think Durrell was
>> > conscious of a difference in his approach to different tasks - the
>> > ephemeral newspaper and magazine assignments and the major works. And
>> > perhaps "avaricious hack" is not quite the way to describe him when he sat
>> > down to quickly write a piece, maybe off the top of his head, which would
>> > earn him some necessary money so that he could get back to spending quality
>> > time on his 'serious' or 'real' (as he called it) work?
>> > James Esposito
>> >
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > ILDS mailing list
>> > ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> > https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>> >
>> >
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/cfefbb43/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:42:23 -0700
>> From: James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
>> Message-ID: <56F418EF.4040603 at gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
>>
>> Hi James,
>>
>> On 2016-03-24 3:06 AM, james Esposito wrote:
>> > I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
>> > Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
>> > high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
>> > attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him,
>> > which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or
>> > low.
>>
>> Please, "James" is just fine (no need for the professor bit).  Thanks
>> for your comments -- it's always good to have new voices on the listserv.
>>
>> As for the high modernists, some of it is fairly overt in the text.  He
>> even wrote in 1975 that /Panic Spring/ is "a pretty good anthology of
>> the styles of the writers I then admired, Huxley, Graves, Aldington,
>> Lawrence," although as usual I think he left the biggest names out of
>> the list...
>>
>> For instance, Noah seduces/assaults Francis in a scene very much like
>> that in the "A Game of Chess" section of T.S. Eliot's /The Waste Land/
>> or between the typist and young man in "The First Sermon" section.  Just
>> in case we don't catch what Durrell's up to, Noah asks Francis if she's
>> read /The Waste Land/ after having made sure copies of Ezra Pound and
>> Eliot are visible in the room.  It's also not really a great surprise
>> since the book was published by Faber & Faber where Eliot was an editor
>> and Durrell was in correspondence with him.
>>
>> We get kindred stream of consciousness scenes like Woolf and Joyce in
>> "The Music" chapter as well as gestures to shell shock through Marlowe.
>>   Overall, Durrell's fairly explicit about taking up stylistic and
>> thematic models from the high modernists here, and while I think he had
>> an uneasy relationship with those predecessors (for instance, in many
>> respects substituting Cavafy for Eliot in the Quartet), they're also
>> overt influences.
>>
>> Other gestures to Eliot are fairly overt, such as in the "Walsh" chapter
>> when the narrative voice tells us "They walked in the rain together,
>> among a torrent of wet dead leaves, wind tugging their hair back on
>> their scalps, rain in their mouths and the smell of dead earth" which is
>> quite close to the opening lines of /The Waste Land/ (and in the
>> preceding paragraph he stresses by repetition the "unreal" like Eliot's
>> "Unreal city" from the same).  Francis is also like an "anaesthetised
>> patient" much akin to the opening of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred
>> Prufrock" and so forth.
>>
>> Perhaps I should emphasize that I don't see this as a problem -- he's
>> reacting to the most famous generation of authors immediately preceding
>> his own (and who were editing him...) while challenging and/or extending
>> parts of their project in the process of discovering his own.  I think
>> it's to be expected, and most authors of his generation did the same.
>>
>> > I don't get the
>> > rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>>
>> The mud brick figures in his "With Durrell in Egypt" piece (collected in
>> /From the Elephant's Back/) -- it's a brick from Hassan Fathy's Gourna
>> village.  I've suggested that since Durrell describes reading Fathy's
>> /Architecture for the Poor/ in the piece and gives such a prominent
>> place in the narrative to a symbol of the utopian project for peasants
>> (the mud brick is a key part of Fathy's revival of traditional
>> materials), it's not a politically neutral image.  I don't know how
>> specific we might argue the "meaning" of the brick in the narrative
>> could be, but I don't think it's neutral or random.
>>
>> Others are arguing that the brick carries no importance, which I find
>> unlikely, but to each their own.  I might even hope that it means both
>> things at the same time -- Keats, after all, appears frequently in Durrell.
>>
>> All best,
>> James
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 3
>> Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 10:34:09 -0700
>> From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>> To: James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>,  Sumantra Nag
>>         <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
>> Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>> Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
>> Message-ID: <B1B82D61-AE6C-4680-B4D4-04325C1432A4 at earthlink.net>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>>
>> I think Gifford sums up nicely the main issues raised by Esposito.  The long quotation is from the 2nd ed. of Pine?s Mindscape (2005):  114-16.  Durrell?s concern about ?minor mythologies? and literature as ?play? is nothing new.  Way back in the Middle Ages the function of literature was described as ?to delight and instruct,? and even that exhortation probably goes further back to the Romans, at least.  We?re probably talking about the context of Durrell?s remark and how he thought literature had become too highbrow.  There?s nothing wrong with telling a good story and all that that involves?at which Durrell could excel when in good form.  On the other hand, he was probably ahead of his time when he talks about giving equal weight to the popular literature of the time.  My sense is that academics are currently mining that very topic, if in somewhat abstruse fashion, that is, buttressed by a lot of Continental ?theory.?
>>
>> Bruce
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> > On Mar 24, 2016, at 9:42 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi James,
>> >
>> > On 2016-03-24 3:06 AM, james Esposito wrote:
>> >> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
>> >> Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
>> >> high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
>> >> attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him,
>> >> which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or
>> >> low.
>> >
>> > Please, "James" is just fine (no need for the professor bit).  Thanks for your comments -- it's always good to have new voices on the listserv.
>> >
>> > As for the high modernists, some of it is fairly overt in the text.  He even wrote in 1975 that /Panic Spring/ is "a pretty good anthology of the styles of the writers I then admired, Huxley, Graves, Aldington, Lawrence," although as usual I think he left the biggest names out of the list...
>> >
>> > For instance, Noah seduces/assaults Francis in a scene very much like that in the "A Game of Chess" section of T.S. Eliot's /The Waste Land/ or between the typist and young man in "The First Sermon" section.  Just in case we don't catch what Durrell's up to, Noah asks Francis if she's read /The Waste Land/ after having made sure copies of Ezra Pound and Eliot are visible in the room.  It's also not really a great surprise since the book was published by Faber & Faber where Eliot was an editor and Durrell was in correspondence with him.
>> >
>> > We get kindred stream of consciousness scenes like Woolf and Joyce in "The Music" chapter as well as gestures to shell shock through Marlowe.  Overall, Durrell's fairly explicit about taking up stylistic and thematic models from the high modernists here, and while I think he had an uneasy relationship with those predecessors (for instance, in many respects substituting Cavafy for Eliot in the Quartet), they're also overt influences.
>> >
>> > Other gestures to Eliot are fairly overt, such as in the "Walsh" chapter when the narrative voice tells us "They walked in the rain together, among a torrent of wet dead leaves, wind tugging their hair back on their scalps, rain in their mouths and the smell of dead earth" which is quite close to the opening lines of /The Waste Land/ (and in the preceding paragraph he stresses by repetition the "unreal" like Eliot's "Unreal city" from the same).  Francis is also like an "anaesthetised patient" much akin to the opening of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and so forth.
>> >
>> > Perhaps I should emphasize that I don't see this as a problem -- he's reacting to the most famous generation of authors immediately preceding his own (and who were editing him...) while challenging and/or extending parts of their project in the process of discovering his own.  I think it's to be expected, and most authors of his generation did the same.
>> >
>> >> I don't get the
>> >> rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>> >
>> > The mud brick figures in his "With Durrell in Egypt" piece (collected in /From the Elephant's Back/) -- it's a brick from Hassan Fathy's Gourna village.  I've suggested that since Durrell describes reading Fathy's /Architecture for the Poor/ in the piece and gives such a prominent place in the narrative to a symbol of the utopian project for peasants (the mud brick is a key part of Fathy's revival of traditional materials), it's not a politically neutral image.  I don't know how specific we might argue the "meaning" of the brick in the narrative could be, but I don't think it's neutral or random.
>> >
>> > Others are arguing that the brick carries no importance, which I find unlikely, but to each their own.  I might even hope that it means both things at the same time -- Keats, after all, appears frequently in Durrell.
>> >
>> > All best,
>> > James
>> >
>>
>> * * * * *
>>
>> James Esposito, 3/24/2016:
>>
>>
>> I do not have access to "Deus Loci" - I first became aware of Durrell's "Minor Mythologies" in Pine's book "Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape" where he says:
>>
>>
>> A further characteristic of Durrell?s understanding of the nineteenth century was his refusal to build his house exclusively on the plane of ?high? literature, and his insistence instead on pursuing it through major and minor modes. Thus his own adventure novel White Eagles over Serbia, written in the Buchanesque style of so much of his early reading, combines elements of the detective story and the grail quest. (In the Quartet Darley criticises the writing of the much-envied Pursewarden: ?what is missing in his work - but this is a criticism of all works which do not reach the front rank - is a sense of play? - Quartet 670.) It is a genre he much admired, for example relishing the Quixote-Panza relationship of Wodehouse?s Wooster and Jeeves (we have already seen him imagining himself as a new Wodehouse). He saw Wooster in descent from ?the great Knights of the Romance pattern?, saying ?he is a knight in the sense that he is a gentleman absolute. He can do no evil. It is !
 the!
>>   terrific responsibility of wasting time amusingly that exhausts him so? <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn1>? a remarkable insight into the preoccupations of the one-time dandy faced with all the burdens of decadence. (In the same frame of mind he might have held the image of Scobie as ?Popeye the Sailor Man? and Nessim as the ?chevalier sans peur? ? Quartet 549.) In the same essay, ?The Minor Mythologies?, Durrell made the case for considering the characters of minor fiction in the same critical bracket:
>>
>>
>> The myth-making faculty is busy at many different levels; a critic interested in the creative process may find more food for thought in a Stephen Daedelus [sic] than in a Jeeves.Yet he should be prepared to acknowledge them both as part of the broad flood of a nation?s literature flowing out towards the future, to the sea. Many readers might think it a waste of time but how delightful a book on the minor mythologies of the age could be made if one could persuade a serious critic to consider its figures... Holmes, Jeeves, Dr Fu Manchu, Captain Blood, Bulldog Drummond, Raffles, Bones, Captain Nemo, Frankenstein, Dracula. <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn2>
>>
>> Durrell himself displayed this ability to give due attention to major and minor, firstly in the creation of his own ?minor? canon in works like White Eagles (which he regarded as ?makeweights?) or in some of the apparently inconsequential characters of the island books. Secondly, in his ?major? works, Durrell, like Kipling, brought the great and the insignificant into close and urgent contact (he called the Quartet ?such a strange mixture of sex and the secret service!? SP 120), so much so as to make us enquire at what point a character gains or loses cardinal significance: for example, the nameless loader who appears and disappears within one paragraph of the Quartet after the supposed death of Capodistria (Quartet 76- 7), or Krov, the ?slave-prisoner? of General von Esslin (Quintet 877-83), take on a vital role illustrative of some mythological level far out of proportion to their social or narrative function, precisely because that function is not part of the cultural !
 val!
>>  ues Durrell shared with the nineteenth century. Durrell employed this kind of simplicity as a means of communication ? one he particularly valued in the ?minor mythologies? ? because it made the reader an accomplice at the deepest level of story-telling at which the primitive, as opposed to the sophisticated, method of narrative is revealed as the more effective bonding mechanism of society: <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn3> think of Pater?s Marius: ?his life had been so like the reading of a romance to him?, <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn4>or, as Groddeck put it in The Book of the It, ?read [my letters] as though they were travel books or detective stories?. <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn5> It was thus possible to engage not only in narration but also in analysis without the reader becoming aware of the ulterior project.
>>
>> Writing of Wells?s The Time Machine and Rider Haggard?s She which, Durrell said, embodied for the Victorians ?the great popular myths of the age?, he made a case (in the latter instance by tracing that myth through the Prester John legends to de Mandeville) for these and other ?great folk-metaphors? (Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll/Hyde), that ?their literary ancestry stretches far back into the age of the magicians and miracles?. <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn6> This resort to the merveilleux and the miraculous is one of the trademarks of the baroque novelist, and was an integral part not only of Durrell?s technique but also of his faith in the novel. He made a critical connection between gothic narrative and the myths of magic, showing us that the modern juxtaposition and interaction of science and art is merely another form of an all-embracing philosophy told, like so much of Buddhism, through the visions and spectacles of everyday life. Quo!
 tid!
>>  ian activity, rather than the characters who enact it, has its own characters.
>>
>>
>> Thus it is easier to spell out the ?miracle?, the successful d?nouement, if it is already anticipated as part of the reader?s act of faith within the act of reading <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn7> It would only be with the c?sura after the Quartet that this faith hit the rocks of Durrell?s despair. To the genre of adventure in Kim we can add Durrell?s childhood introduction to the works of Dickens and, on the evidence of Pied Piper of Lovers, Henty, Ballantyne and Dumas (PPL 124, 192). Durrell?s library contained several examples of Buchan?s work, together with volumes of Baroness Orczy and Anthony Hope <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn8> and he often referred to Wodehouse as an important example of subversive humour ? a technique he put to use not only in the ?Antrobus? pictures from diplomatic life but also in the structure and texture of The Revolt (indeed, as I shall demonstrate in Part 4, there is an organic connect!
 ion!
>>   between the two types of writing).
>>
>> Milan Kundera makes the point that a novel requires four special ?appeals?: those of ?play?, ?dream?, ?thought? and ?time?, <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn9> and it is important to note that it is the combination of seriousness of intent with lightness of touch which gives Durrell?s fiction its onward drive: while he is capable of arresting our attention with some lapidary insight into the human condition, the dynamic in the reader?s mind is the question ?what happens next??. The book must be a place of intellectual excitement which is leavened by the idea of life-as-a-game.
>>
>> -------------------------------------
>>
>> Apologies for such a long quote but some on this list may not have Pine's book, which I understand is hard to find in the second edition.
>>
>> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him, which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or low.
>>
>> Maybe I'm ill-versed, but I don't get the rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>>
>> James Esposito
>>
>>
>>
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/e74874a6/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 4
>> Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 10:44:34 -0700
>> From: Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com>
>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
>> Message-ID:
>>         <CANDhJnQzTRzn0AeLRbxMQvFQLLMsO5c_54K7ey9wOtZXt4a-sg at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>>
>> FYI: http://lawrencedurrell.org/wp_durrell/deus-loci/
>>
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 10:34 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > I think Gifford sums up nicely the main issues raised by Esposito.  The
>> > long quotation is from the 2nd ed. of Pine?s *Mindscape* (2005):
>> >  114-16.  Durrell?s concern about ?minor mythologies? and literature as
>> > ?play? is nothing new.  Way back in the Middle Ages the function of
>> > literature was described as ?to delight and instruct,? and even that
>> > exhortation probably goes further back to the Romans, at least.  We?re
>> > probably talking about the context of Durrell?s remark and how he thought
>> > literature had become too highbrow.  There?s nothing wrong with telling a
>> > good story and all that that involves?at which Durrell could excel when in
>> > good form.  On the other hand, he was probably ahead of his time when he
>> > talks about giving equal weight to the popular literature of the time.  My
>> > sense is that academics are currently mining that very topic, if in
>> > somewhat abstruse fashion, that is, buttressed by a lot of Continental
>> > ?theory.?
>> >
>> > Bruce
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > On Mar 24, 2016, at 9:42 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi James,
>> >
>> > On 2016-03-24 3:06 AM, james Esposito wrote:
>> >
>> > I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
>> > Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
>> > high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
>> > attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him,
>> > which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or
>> > low.
>> >
>> >
>> > Please, "James" is just fine (no need for the professor bit).  Thanks for
>> > your comments -- it's always good to have new voices on the listserv.
>> >
>> > As for the high modernists, some of it is fairly overt in the text.  He
>> > even wrote in 1975 that /Panic Spring/ is "a pretty good anthology of the
>> > styles of the writers I then admired, Huxley, Graves, Aldington, Lawrence,"
>> > although as usual I think he left the biggest names out of the list...
>> >
>> > For instance, Noah seduces/assaults Francis in a scene very much like that
>> > in the "A Game of Chess" section of T.S. Eliot's /The Waste Land/ or
>> > between the typist and young man in "The First Sermon" section.  Just in
>> > case we don't catch what Durrell's up to, Noah asks Francis if she's read
>> > /The Waste Land/ after having made sure copies of Ezra Pound and Eliot are
>> > visible in the room.  It's also not really a great surprise since the book
>> > was published by Faber & Faber where Eliot was an editor and Durrell was in
>> > correspondence with him.
>> >
>> > We get kindred stream of consciousness scenes like Woolf and Joyce in "The
>> > Music" chapter as well as gestures to shell shock through Marlowe.
>> > Overall, Durrell's fairly explicit about taking up stylistic and thematic
>> > models from the high modernists here, and while I think he had an uneasy
>> > relationship with those predecessors (for instance, in many respects
>> > substituting Cavafy for Eliot in the Quartet), they're also overt
>> > influences.
>> >
>> > Other gestures to Eliot are fairly overt, such as in the "Walsh" chapter
>> > when the narrative voice tells us "They walked in the rain together, among
>> > a torrent of wet dead leaves, wind tugging their hair back on their scalps,
>> > rain in their mouths and the smell of dead earth" which is quite close to
>> > the opening lines of /The Waste Land/ (and in the preceding paragraph he
>> > stresses by repetition the "unreal" like Eliot's "Unreal city" from the
>> > same).  Francis is also like an "anaesthetised patient" much akin to the
>> > opening of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and so forth.
>> >
>> > Perhaps I should emphasize that I don't see this as a problem -- he's
>> > reacting to the most famous generation of authors immediately preceding his
>> > own (and who were editing him...) while challenging and/or extending parts
>> > of their project in the process of discovering his own.  I think it's to be
>> > expected, and most authors of his generation did the same.
>> >
>> > I don't get the
>> > rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>> >
>> >
>> > The mud brick figures in his "With Durrell in Egypt" piece (collected in
>> > /From the Elephant's Back/) -- it's a brick from Hassan Fathy's Gourna
>> > village.  I've suggested that since Durrell describes reading Fathy's
>> > /Architecture for the Poor/ in the piece and gives such a prominent place
>> > in the narrative to a symbol of the utopian project for peasants (the mud
>> > brick is a key part of Fathy's revival of traditional materials), it's not
>> > a politically neutral image.  I don't know how specific we might argue the
>> > "meaning" of the brick in the narrative could be, but I don't think it's
>> > neutral or random.
>> >
>> > Others are arguing that the brick carries no importance, which I find
>> > unlikely, but to each their own.  I might even hope that it means both
>> > things at the same time -- Keats, after all, appears frequently in Durrell.
>> >
>> > All best,
>> > James
>> >
>> >
>> > * * * * *
>> >
>> > James Esposito, 3/24/2016:
>> >
>> >
>> > I do not have access to "Deus Loci" - I first became aware of Durrell's
>> > "Minor Mythologies" in Pine's book "Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape" where
>> > he says:
>> >
>> >
>> > A further characteristic of Durrell?s understanding of the nineteenth
>> > century was his refusal to build his house exclusively on the plane of
>> > ?high? literature, and his insistence instead on pursuing it through major
>> > and minor modes. Thus his own adventure novel *White Eagles over Serbia*,
>> > written in the Buchanesque style of so much of his early reading, combines
>> > elements of the detective story and the grail quest. (In the *Quartet* Darley
>> > criticises the writing of the much-envied Pursewarden: ?what is missing in
>> > his work - but this is a criticism of all works which do not reach the
>> > front rank - is a sense of play? - *Quartet* 670.) It is a genre he much
>> > admired, for example relishing the Quixote-Panza relationship of
>> > Wodehouse?s Wooster and Jeeves (we have already seen him imagining himself
>> > as a new Wodehouse). He saw Wooster in descent from ?the great Knights of
>> > the Romance pattern?, saying ?he is a knight in the sense that he is a
>> > gentleman absolute. He can do no evil. It is the terrific responsibility of
>> > wasting time amusingly that exhausts him so?
>> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn1>? a remarkable insight into the
>> > preoccupations of the one-time dandy faced with all the burdens of
>> > decadence. (In the same frame of mind he might have held the image of
>> > Scobie as ?Popeye the Sailor Man? and Nessim as the ?chevalier sans peur? ?
>> > *Quartet *549.) In the same essay, ?The Minor Mythologies?, Durrell made
>> > the case for considering the characters of minor fiction in the same
>> > critical bracket:
>> >
>> >
>> > The myth-making faculty is busy at many different levels; a critic
>> > interested in the creative process may find more food for thought in a
>> > Stephen Daedelus [*sic*] than in a Jeeves.Yet he should be prepared to
>> > acknowledge them both as part of the broad flood of a nation?s literature
>> > flowing out towards the future, to the sea. Many readers might think it a
>> > waste of time but how delightful a book on the minor mythologies of the age
>> > could be made if one could persuade a serious critic to consider its
>> > figures... Holmes, Jeeves, Dr Fu Manchu, Captain Blood, Bulldog Drummond,
>> > Raffles, Bones, Captain Nemo, Frankenstein, Dracula.
>> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn2>
>> >
>> >
>> > Durrell himself displayed this ability to give due attention to major and
>> > minor, firstly in the creation of his own ?minor? canon in works like *White
>> > Eagles* (which he regarded as ?makeweights?) or in some of the apparently
>> > inconsequential characters of the island books. Secondly, in his ?major?
>> > works, Durrell, like Kipling, brought the great and the insignificant into
>> > close and urgent contact (he called the *Quartet *?such a strange mixture
>> > of sex and the secret service!? *SP* 120), so much so as to make us
>> > enquire at what point a character gains or loses cardinal significance: for
>> > example, the nameless loader who appears and disappears within one
>> > paragraph of the *Quartet* after the supposed death of Capodistria (
>> > *Quartet *76- 7), or Krov, the ?slave-prisoner? of General von Esslin (
>> > *Quintet* 877-83), take on a vital role illustrative of some mythological
>> > level far out of proportion to their social or narrative function,
>> > precisely because that function is not part of the cultural values Durrell
>> > shared with the nineteenth century. Durrell employed this kind of
>> > simplicity as a means of communication ? one he particularly valued in the
>> > ?minor mythologies? ? because it made the reader an accomplice at the
>> > deepest level of story-telling at which the primitive, as opposed to the
>> > sophisticated, method of narrative is revealed as the more effective
>> > bonding mechanism of society: <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn3> think of
>> > Pater?s Marius: ?his life had been so like the reading of a romance to him?,
>> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn4>or, as Groddeck put it in *The Book of the
>> > It*, ?read [my letters] as though they were travel books or detective
>> > stories?. <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn5> It was thus possible to engage
>> > not only in narration but also in analysis without the reader becoming
>> > aware of the ulterior project.
>> >
>> > Writing of Wells?s *The Time Machine* and Rider Haggard?s *She* which,
>> > Durrell said, embodied for the Victorians ?the great popular myths of the
>> > age?, he made a case (in the latter instance by tracing that myth through
>> > the Prester John legends to de Mandeville) for these and other ?great
>> > folk-metaphors? (Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll/Hyde), that ?their
>> > literary ancestry stretches far back into the age of the magicians and
>> > miracles?. <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn6> This resort to the *merveilleux* and
>> > the miraculous is one of the trademarks of the baroque novelist, and was an
>> > integral part not only of Durrell?s technique but also of his faith in the
>> > novel. He made a critical connection between gothic narrative and the myths
>> > of magic, showing us that the modern juxtaposition and interaction of
>> > science and art is merely another form of an all-embracing philosophy told,
>> > like so much of Buddhism, through the visions and spectacles of everyday
>> > life. Quotidian activity, rather than the characters who enact it, has its
>> > own characters.
>> >
>> >
>> > Thus it is easier to spell out the ?miracle?, the successful d?nouement,
>> > if it is already anticipated as part of the reader?s act of faith within
>> > the act of reading <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn7> It would only be with
>> > the *c?sura* after the *Quartet* that this faith hit the rocks of
>> > Durrell?s despair. To the genre of adventure in *Kim* we can add
>> > Durrell?s childhood introduction to the works of Dickens and, on the
>> > evidence of *Pied Piper of Lovers*, Henty, Ballantyne and Dumas (*PPL* 124,
>> > 192). Durrell?s library contained several examples of Buchan?s work,
>> > together with volumes of Baroness Orczy and Anthony Hope
>> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn8> and he often referred to Wodehouse as an
>> > important example of subversive humour ? a technique he put to use not only
>> > in the ?Antrobus? pictures from diplomatic life but also in the structure
>> > and texture of *The Revolt* (indeed, as I shall demonstrate in Part 4,
>> > there is an organic connection between the two types of writing).
>> >
>> > Milan Kundera makes the point that a novel requires four special
>> > ?appeals?: those of ?play?, ?dream?, ?thought? and ?time?,
>> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn9> and it is important to note that it is the
>> > combination of seriousness of intent with lightness of touch which gives
>> > Durrell?s fiction its onward drive: while he is capable of arresting our
>> > attention with some lapidary insight into the human condition, the dynamic
>> > in the reader?s mind is the question ?what happens next??. The book must be
>> > a place of intellectual excitement which is leavened by the idea of
>> > life-as-a-game.
>> >
>> > -------------------------------------
>> >
>> > Apologies for such a long quote but some on this list may not have Pine's
>> > book, which I understand is hard to find in the second edition.
>> >
>> > I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
>> > Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the high
>> > modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an attempt to
>> > make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him, which did not
>> > include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or low.
>> >
>> > Maybe I'm ill-versed, but I don't get the rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>> >
>> > James Esposito
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > ILDS mailing list
>> > ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> > https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>> >
>> >
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/852dd1c3/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Subject: Digest Footer
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> ILDS mailing list
>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> End of ILDS Digest, Vol 107, Issue 9
>> ************************************
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> ILDS mailing list
>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160325/fc74d7a3/attachment-0001.html>

------------------------------

Message: 4
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2016 01:19:35 +0200
From: james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Mr. esposito
Message-ID:
        <CAFcAaFfyvudC6kc-V7TxaqE0+E5+ZJ1DxvX2nkcYw5nhETQh_g at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Not in the Quartet he didn't. James Esposito

On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 1:05 AM, Denise Tart & David Green <
dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:

> James,
>
> Keats died of tuberculosis at the age of 25.
>
> Yes, it is easy to read too much into things. A writers subconscious is a
> remote galaxy hard to explore. However, we do know a lot about Durrell's
> reading matter and his literary and spiritual influences. Nonetheless,
>  your words remind me of a poem:
>
> "To think about poetry
> While writing poetry
> Can lead to bad writing.
> Being immersed in washing up
> Is enough.
> Thinking may not add
> But subtract;
> Like taking one's consciousness
> Too seriously."
>
> Teaching English Lit for enjoyment rather than critical analysis or
> endless deconstruction, now there's a new thing. I have often wondered if
> Shakespeare would appear so brilliant had he not been subjected to 400
> years of critical analysis by thousands of people?
>
> But James I am sure glad I am not a practising academic; they sure cop it
> on this list-serve. I am surprise professor James Gifford has not abjured
> the world and gone into the shadows.
>
> David
>
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
> On 25 Mar 2016, at 9:32 AM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> I perhaps did not make myself clear on the subject of Durrell's
> relationship to the modernists. Of course he was well aware of the Eliots,
> Huxleys, etc, but what I meant was that we should not necessarily assume
> 'the anxiety of influence' - the fact that there are echoes of Eliot etc in
> Durrell's work does not allow us to infer that he deliberately set out to
> imitate them or to make obvious references to them - merely that, as a
> (still) apprentice writer in the first 2 novels he was setting out his own
> stall, not theirs.
> And as for Keats, if I remember correctly, he got killed.
> As for the mud bricks, I think it's completely far-fetched to read
> political persuasions into the fact that Durrell referred to a basic
> building material. They were just mud-bricks, not political slogans.
> I think there is far too much time and effort spent on trying to analyse
> what Durrell may or may not have ingested into his writer's subconscious.
> It may be an amusing pastime for academics, but they should be teaching
> their students how to enjoy texts and not how to tear them apart. It isn't
> 'hunting of the snark' territory.
> James Esposito
>
>
> On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 12:14 AM, Ric Wilson <Ric.Wilson at msn.com> wrote:
>
>> Cheers to your perspective! That was a surprise and well received.
>>
>> Ric Wilson
>>
>> ________________________________________
>> From: ILDS <ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca> on behalf of
>> ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca <ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca>
>> Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2016 12:00 PM
>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Subject: ILDS Digest, Vol 107, Issue 9
>>
>> Send ILDS mailing list submissions to
>>         ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>>
>> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
>>         https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
>>         ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca
>>
>> You can reach the person managing the list at
>>         ilds-owner at lists.uvic.ca
>>
>> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
>> than "Re: Contents of ILDS digest..."
>>
>>
>> Today's Topics:
>>
>>    1. Re: Wordspinners (james Esposito)
>>    2. Re: Wordspinners (James Gifford)
>>    3. Re: Wordspinners (Bruce Redwine)
>>    4. Re: Wordspinners (Kennedy Gammage)
>>
>>
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 12:06:45 +0200
>> From: james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
>> Message-ID:
>>         <CAFcAaFdZUhWx0_oSertAyjKsiafWRVne=
>> worc8PFbe2NbU4aAg at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>>
>> I do not have access to "Deus Loci" - I first became aware of Durrell's
>> "Minor Mythologies" in Pine's book "Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape" where
>> he says:
>>
>>
>> A further characteristic of Durrell?s understanding of the nineteenth
>> century was his refusal to build his house exclusively on the plane of
>> ?high? literature, and his insistence instead on pursuing it through major
>> and minor modes. Thus his own adventure novel *White Eagles over Serbia*,
>> written in the Buchanesque style of so much of his early reading, combines
>> elements of the detective story and the grail quest. (In the *Quartet*
>> Darley criticises the writing of the much-envied Pursewarden: ?what is
>> missing in his work - but this is a criticism of all works which do not
>> reach the front rank - is a sense of play? - *Quartet* 670.) It is a genre
>> he much admired, for example relishing the Quixote-Panza relationship of
>> Wodehouse?s Wooster and Jeeves (we have already seen him imagining himself
>> as a new Wodehouse). He saw Wooster in descent from ?the great Knights of
>> the Romance pattern?, saying ?he is a knight in the sense that he is a
>> gentleman absolute. He can do no evil. It is the terrific responsibility
>> of
>> wasting time amusingly that exhausts him so? <#_ftn1>? a remarkable
>> insight
>> into the preoccupations of the one-time dandy faced with all the burdens
>> of
>> decadence. (In the same frame of mind he might have held the image of
>> Scobie as ?Popeye the Sailor Man? and Nessim as the ?chevalier sans
>> peur? ? *Quartet
>> *549.) In the same essay, ?The Minor Mythologies?, Durrell made the case
>> for considering the characters of minor fiction in the same critical
>> bracket:
>>
>>
>>
>> The myth-making faculty is busy at many different levels; a critic
>> interested in the creative process may find more food for thought in a
>> Stephen Daedelus [*sic*] than in a Jeeves.Yet he should be prepared to
>> acknowledge them both as part of the broad flood of a nation?s literature
>> flowing out towards the future, to the sea. Many readers might think it a
>> waste of time but how delightful a book on the minor mythologies of the
>> age
>> could be made if one could persuade a serious critic to consider its
>> figures... Holmes, Jeeves, Dr Fu Manchu, Captain Blood, Bulldog Drummond,
>> Raffles, Bones, Captain Nemo, Frankenstein, Dracula. <#_ftn2>
>>
>>
>>
>> Durrell himself displayed this ability to give due attention to major and
>> minor, firstly in the creation of his own ?minor? canon in works like
>> *White
>> Eagles* (which he regarded as ?makeweights?) or in some of the apparently
>> inconsequential characters of the island books. Secondly, in his ?major?
>> works, Durrell, like Kipling, brought the great and the insignificant into
>> close and urgent contact (he called the *Quartet *?such a strange mixture
>> of sex and the secret service!? *SP* 120), so much so as to make us
>> enquire
>> at what point a character gains or loses cardinal significance: for
>> example, the nameless loader who appears and disappears within one
>> paragraph of the *Quartet* after the supposed death of Capodistria
>> (*Quartet
>> *76- 7), or Krov, the ?slave-prisoner? of General von Esslin (*Quintet*
>> 877-83), take on a vital role illustrative of some mythological level far
>> out of proportion to their social or narrative function, precisely because
>> that function is not part of the cultural values Durrell shared with the
>> nineteenth century. Durrell employed this kind of simplicity as a means of
>> communication ? one he particularly valued in the ?minor mythologies? ?
>> because it made the reader an accomplice at the deepest level of
>> story-telling at which the primitive, as opposed to the sophisticated,
>> method of narrative is revealed as the more effective bonding mechanism of
>> society: <#_ftn3> think of Pater?s Marius: ?his life had been so like the
>> reading of a romance to him?, <#_ftn4>or, as Groddeck put it in *The Book
>> of the It*, ?read [my letters] as though they were travel books or
>> detective stories?. <#_ftn5> It was thus possible to engage not only in
>> narration but also in analysis without the reader becoming aware of the
>> ulterior project.
>>
>> Writing of Wells?s *The Time Machine* and Rider Haggard?s *She* which,
>> Durrell said, embodied for the Victorians ?the great popular myths of the
>> age?, he made a case (in the latter instance by tracing that myth through
>> the Prester John legends to de Mandeville) for these and other ?great
>> folk-metaphors? (Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll/Hyde), that ?their
>> literary ancestry stretches far back into the age of the magicians and
>> miracles?. <#_ftn6> This resort to the *merveilleux* and the miraculous is
>> one of the trademarks of the baroque novelist, and was an integral part
>> not
>> only of Durrell?s technique but also of his faith in the novel. He made a
>> critical connection between gothic narrative and the myths of magic,
>> showing us that the modern juxtaposition and interaction of science and
>> art
>> is merely another form of an all-embracing philosophy told, like so much
>> of
>> Buddhism, through the visions and spectacles of everyday life. Quotidian
>> activity, rather than the characters who enact it, has its own characters.
>>
>>
>>
>> Thus it is easier to spell out the ?miracle?, the successful d?nouement,
>> if
>> it is already anticipated as part of the reader?s act of faith within the
>> act of reading <#_ftn7> It would only be with the *c?sura* after the
>> *Quartet* that this faith hit the rocks of Durrell?s despair. To the genre
>> of adventure in *Kim* we can add Durrell?s childhood introduction to the
>> works of Dickens and, on the evidence of *Pied Piper of Lovers*, Henty,
>> Ballantyne and Dumas (*PPL* 124, 192). Durrell?s library contained several
>> examples of Buchan?s work, together with volumes of Baroness Orczy and
>> Anthony Hope <#_ftn8> and he often referred to Wodehouse as an important
>> example of subversive humour ? a technique he put to use not only in the
>> ?Antrobus? pictures from diplomatic life but also in the structure and
>> texture of *The Revolt* (indeed, as I shall demonstrate in Part 4, there
>> is
>> an organic connection between the two types of writing).
>>
>> Milan Kundera makes the point that a novel requires four special
>> ?appeals?:
>> those of ?play?, ?dream?, ?thought? and ?time?, <#_ftn9> and it is
>> important to note that it is the combination of seriousness of intent with
>> lightness of touch which gives Durrell?s fiction its onward drive: while
>> he
>> is capable of arresting our attention with some lapidary insight into the
>> human condition, the dynamic in the reader?s mind is the question ?what
>> happens next??. The book must be a place of intellectual excitement which
>> is leavened by the idea of life-as-a-game.
>>
>> -------------------------------------
>>
>> Apologies for such a long quote but some on this list may not have Pine's
>> book, which I understand is hard to find in the second edition.
>>
>> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
>> Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the high
>> modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an attempt
>> to
>> make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him, which did not
>> include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or low.
>>
>> Maybe I'm ill-versed, but I don't get the rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>>
>> James Esposito
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sun, Mar 20, 2016 at 8:03 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com
>> >
>> wrote:
>>
>> > Hello all,
>> >
>> > It's worth noting that thanks to Charles Sligh's excellent editorial
>> work,
>> > we have Durrell's thoughts on the matter in "The Minor Mythologies"
>> (Deus
>> > Loci NS 7 1999-2000). He's certainly not dismissive of "lowbrow"
>> > entertainments. Sligh notes it as a "multiform, anti-departmental
>> approach
>> > to literary production," and I think I'd go along a long way with that.
>> And
>> > after all, Old D wrote the last 3 volumes of The Quartet at top speed.
>> And
>> > for money too... Even early on he wrote to emulate the formal effects of
>> > the high modernists in Panic Spring, and under a pseudonym, which
>> certainly
>> > wasn't a good plan to make easy money fast.
>> >
>> > I'd note that the same Hope Mirrlees who gave the world the remarkable
>> and
>> > experimental "Paris: A Poem" also wrote the fantasy novel
>> Lud-In-The-Mist.
>> > I think we'd be foolish not to see a careful mind at work in both texts
>> > just as we'd be foolish to exclude the material exigencies of their
>> > production. Then again, I've written critical work on comic books...
>> >
>> > I'll stand by the mud brick in this case, even if I don't roll in the
>> muck.
>> >
>> > All best,
>> > James
>> >
>> > Ps: great to have your contribution James (Esposito)!
>> >
>> > Sent from my iPad
>> >
>> > On Mar 19, 2016, at 2:17 PM, Denise Tart & David Green <
>> > dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
>> >
>> > Having written commercially myself, I think it is easy, at least for me,
>> > to write with more than one head, so to speak. Writing for magazines and
>> > journals to a deadline for pay, sometimes good pay, requires a different
>> > mind cast to producing a a good poem; that comes from another place. As
>> a
>> > writer Durrell was across multiple genres and wrote for diverse
>> audiences
>> > but I agree with Bruce that whether dashing off a potboiler, a travel
>> book
>> > or a great novel cycle, the strength and beauty of Durrell's poetry
>> comes
>> > through them all, yes even Sicilian Carousel, an underrated book in my
>> > view. As an actor can play many parts, so can a writer but something of
>> his
>> > essence flavours them all.
>> >
>> > David
>> >
>> > Sent from my iPad
>> >
>> > On 20 Mar 2016, at 6:05 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > Excellent response.  This is the real issue--what's the relationship
>> > between Durrell as serious writer and Durrell as hack, greedy or not?  I
>> > see the two as directly related, with varying degrees of importance.  A
>> > good writer doesn't stop being a good writer simply because he or she
>> > writes to make money.  Durrell's Sicilian book and the one on the Greek
>> > islands were both written mainly to make money, and he even disparaged
>> the
>> > former as something of a potboiler.  Both books, however, have many
>> > excellent sections and are relevant to his "serious" work and to the man
>> > himself.  I would add the Antrobus stories, along with the "ephemeral"
>> > pieces, to his body of work.
>> >
>> > Also, Durrell's commentary on his own habits/objectives should be taken
>> > with heaps and heaps of salt.  D. H. Lawrence had it right, in my
>> opinion,
>> > when he said, more than less, that readers should trust the book and not
>> > the author.
>> >
>> > Bruce
>> >
>> >
>> > Sent from my iPhone
>> >
>> > On Mar 19, 2016, at 10:45 AM, james Esposito <
>> giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > Forgive me as a newcomer, but surely Lawrence Durrell made it clear that
>> > he saw his paid work as distinct from his serious novels,poetry et
>> cetera?
>> > His boast about the writing of the 'Antrobus' stories and the use to
>> which
>> > he put the money and the comparison with P G Wodehouse and Proust
>> suggest
>> > that he really did see himself as two types of writer. I'm not saying
>> that
>> > these two writers were entirely separable, but I think Durrell was
>> > conscious of a difference in his approach to different tasks - the
>> > ephemeral newspaper and magazine assignments and the major works. And
>> > perhaps "avaricious hack" is not quite the way to describe him when he
>> sat
>> > down to quickly write a piece, maybe off the top of his head, which
>> would
>> > earn him some necessary money so that he could get back to spending
>> quality
>> > time on his 'serious' or 'real' (as he called it) work?
>> > James Esposito
>> >
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > ILDS mailing list
>> > ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> > https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>> >
>> >
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL: <
>> http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/cfefbb43/attachment-0001.html
>> >
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:42:23 -0700
>> From: James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
>> Message-ID: <56F418EF.4040603 at gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
>>
>> Hi James,
>>
>> On 2016-03-24 3:06 AM, james Esposito wrote:
>> > I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
>> > Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
>> > high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
>> > attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him,
>> > which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or
>> > low.
>>
>> Please, "James" is just fine (no need for the professor bit).  Thanks
>> for your comments -- it's always good to have new voices on the listserv.
>>
>> As for the high modernists, some of it is fairly overt in the text.  He
>> even wrote in 1975 that /Panic Spring/ is "a pretty good anthology of
>> the styles of the writers I then admired, Huxley, Graves, Aldington,
>> Lawrence," although as usual I think he left the biggest names out of
>> the list...
>>
>> For instance, Noah seduces/assaults Francis in a scene very much like
>> that in the "A Game of Chess" section of T.S. Eliot's /The Waste Land/
>> or between the typist and young man in "The First Sermon" section.  Just
>> in case we don't catch what Durrell's up to, Noah asks Francis if she's
>> read /The Waste Land/ after having made sure copies of Ezra Pound and
>> Eliot are visible in the room.  It's also not really a great surprise
>> since the book was published by Faber & Faber where Eliot was an editor
>> and Durrell was in correspondence with him.
>>
>> We get kindred stream of consciousness scenes like Woolf and Joyce in
>> "The Music" chapter as well as gestures to shell shock through Marlowe.
>>   Overall, Durrell's fairly explicit about taking up stylistic and
>> thematic models from the high modernists here, and while I think he had
>> an uneasy relationship with those predecessors (for instance, in many
>> respects substituting Cavafy for Eliot in the Quartet), they're also
>> overt influences.
>>
>> Other gestures to Eliot are fairly overt, such as in the "Walsh" chapter
>> when the narrative voice tells us "They walked in the rain together,
>> among a torrent of wet dead leaves, wind tugging their hair back on
>> their scalps, rain in their mouths and the smell of dead earth" which is
>> quite close to the opening lines of /The Waste Land/ (and in the
>> preceding paragraph he stresses by repetition the "unreal" like Eliot's
>> "Unreal city" from the same).  Francis is also like an "anaesthetised
>> patient" much akin to the opening of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred
>> Prufrock" and so forth.
>>
>> Perhaps I should emphasize that I don't see this as a problem -- he's
>> reacting to the most famous generation of authors immediately preceding
>> his own (and who were editing him...) while challenging and/or extending
>> parts of their project in the process of discovering his own.  I think
>> it's to be expected, and most authors of his generation did the same.
>>
>> > I don't get the
>> > rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>>
>> The mud brick figures in his "With Durrell in Egypt" piece (collected in
>> /From the Elephant's Back/) -- it's a brick from Hassan Fathy's Gourna
>> village.  I've suggested that since Durrell describes reading Fathy's
>> /Architecture for the Poor/ in the piece and gives such a prominent
>> place in the narrative to a symbol of the utopian project for peasants
>> (the mud brick is a key part of Fathy's revival of traditional
>> materials), it's not a politically neutral image.  I don't know how
>> specific we might argue the "meaning" of the brick in the narrative
>> could be, but I don't think it's neutral or random.
>>
>> Others are arguing that the brick carries no importance, which I find
>> unlikely, but to each their own.  I might even hope that it means both
>> things at the same time -- Keats, after all, appears frequently in
>> Durrell.
>>
>> All best,
>> James
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 3
>> Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 10:34:09 -0700
>> From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>> To: James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>,  Sumantra Nag
>>         <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
>> Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>> Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
>> Message-ID: <B1B82D61-AE6C-4680-B4D4-04325C1432A4 at earthlink.net>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>>
>> I think Gifford sums up nicely the main issues raised by Esposito.  The
>> long quotation is from the 2nd ed. of Pine?s Mindscape (2005):  114-16.
>> Durrell?s concern about ?minor mythologies? and literature as ?play? is
>> nothing new.  Way back in the Middle Ages the function of literature was
>> described as ?to delight and instruct,? and even that exhortation probably
>> goes further back to the Romans, at least.  We?re probably talking about
>> the context of Durrell?s remark and how he thought literature had become
>> too highbrow.  There?s nothing wrong with telling a good story and all that
>> that involves?at which Durrell could excel when in good form.  On the other
>> hand, he was probably ahead of his time when he talks about giving equal
>> weight to the popular literature of the time.  My sense is that academics
>> are currently mining that very topic, if in somewhat abstruse fashion, that
>> is, buttressed by a lot of Continental ?theory.?
>>
>> Bruce
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> > On Mar 24, 2016, at 9:42 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi James,
>> >
>> > On 2016-03-24 3:06 AM, james Esposito wrote:
>> >> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford
>> about
>> >> Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
>> >> high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
>> >> attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him,
>> >> which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or
>> >> low.
>> >
>> > Please, "James" is just fine (no need for the professor bit).  Thanks
>> for your comments -- it's always good to have new voices on the listserv.
>> >
>> > As for the high modernists, some of it is fairly overt in the text.  He
>> even wrote in 1975 that /Panic Spring/ is "a pretty good anthology of the
>> styles of the writers I then admired, Huxley, Graves, Aldington, Lawrence,"
>> although as usual I think he left the biggest names out of the list...
>> >
>> > For instance, Noah seduces/assaults Francis in a scene very much like
>> that in the "A Game of Chess" section of T.S. Eliot's /The Waste Land/ or
>> between the typist and young man in "The First Sermon" section.  Just in
>> case we don't catch what Durrell's up to, Noah asks Francis if she's read
>> /The Waste Land/ after having made sure copies of Ezra Pound and Eliot are
>> visible in the room.  It's also not really a great surprise since the book
>> was published by Faber & Faber where Eliot was an editor and Durrell was in
>> correspondence with him.
>> >
>> > We get kindred stream of consciousness scenes like Woolf and Joyce in
>> "The Music" chapter as well as gestures to shell shock through Marlowe.
>> Overall, Durrell's fairly explicit about taking up stylistic and thematic
>> models from the high modernists here, and while I think he had an uneasy
>> relationship with those predecessors (for instance, in many respects
>> substituting Cavafy for Eliot in the Quartet), they're also overt
>> influences.
>> >
>> > Other gestures to Eliot are fairly overt, such as in the "Walsh"
>> chapter when the narrative voice tells us "They walked in the rain
>> together, among a torrent of wet dead leaves, wind tugging their hair back
>> on their scalps, rain in their mouths and the smell of dead earth" which is
>> quite close to the opening lines of /The Waste Land/ (and in the preceding
>> paragraph he stresses by repetition the "unreal" like Eliot's "Unreal city"
>> from the same).  Francis is also like an "anaesthetised patient" much akin
>> to the opening of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and so forth.
>> >
>> > Perhaps I should emphasize that I don't see this as a problem -- he's
>> reacting to the most famous generation of authors immediately preceding his
>> own (and who were editing him...) while challenging and/or extending parts
>> of their project in the process of discovering his own.  I think it's to be
>> expected, and most authors of his generation did the same.
>> >
>> >> I don't get the
>> >> rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>> >
>> > The mud brick figures in his "With Durrell in Egypt" piece (collected
>> in /From the Elephant's Back/) -- it's a brick from Hassan Fathy's Gourna
>> village.  I've suggested that since Durrell describes reading Fathy's
>> /Architecture for the Poor/ in the piece and gives such a prominent place
>> in the narrative to a symbol of the utopian project for peasants (the mud
>> brick is a key part of Fathy's revival of traditional materials), it's not
>> a politically neutral image.  I don't know how specific we might argue the
>> "meaning" of the brick in the narrative could be, but I don't think it's
>> neutral or random.
>> >
>> > Others are arguing that the brick carries no importance, which I find
>> unlikely, but to each their own.  I might even hope that it means both
>> things at the same time -- Keats, after all, appears frequently in Durrell.
>> >
>> > All best,
>> > James
>> >
>>
>> * * * * *
>>
>> James Esposito, 3/24/2016:
>>
>>
>> I do not have access to "Deus Loci" - I first became aware of Durrell's
>> "Minor Mythologies" in Pine's book "Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape" where
>> he says:
>>
>>
>> A further characteristic of Durrell?s understanding of the nineteenth
>> century was his refusal to build his house exclusively on the plane of
>> ?high? literature, and his insistence instead on pursuing it through major
>> and minor modes. Thus his own adventure novel White Eagles over Serbia,
>> written in the Buchanesque style of so much of his early reading, combines
>> elements of the detective story and the grail quest. (In the Quartet Darley
>> criticises the writing of the much-envied Pursewarden: ?what is missing in
>> his work - but this is a criticism of all works which do not reach the
>> front rank - is a sense of play? - Quartet 670.) It is a genre he much
>> admired, for example relishing the Quixote-Panza relationship of
>> Wodehouse?s Wooster and Jeeves (we have already seen him imagining himself
>> as a new Wodehouse). He saw Wooster in descent from ?the great Knights of
>> the Romance pattern?, saying ?he is a knight in the sense that he is a
>> gentleman absolute. He can do no evil. It is the!
>>   terrific responsibility of wasting time amusingly that exhausts him so?
>> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn1>? a remarkable
>> insight into the preoccupations of the one-time dandy faced with all the
>> burdens of decadence. (In the same frame of mind he might have held the
>> image of Scobie as ?Popeye the Sailor Man? and Nessim as the ?chevalier
>> sans peur? ? Quartet 549.) In the same essay, ?The Minor Mythologies?,
>> Durrell made the case for considering the characters of minor fiction in
>> the same critical bracket:
>>
>>
>> The myth-making faculty is busy at many different levels; a critic
>> interested in the creative process may find more food for thought in a
>> Stephen Daedelus [sic] than in a Jeeves.Yet he should be prepared to
>> acknowledge them both as part of the broad flood of a nation?s literature
>> flowing out towards the future, to the sea. Many readers might think it a
>> waste of time but how delightful a book on the minor mythologies of the age
>> could be made if one could persuade a serious critic to consider its
>> figures... Holmes, Jeeves, Dr Fu Manchu, Captain Blood, Bulldog Drummond,
>> Raffles, Bones, Captain Nemo, Frankenstein, Dracula.
>> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn2>
>>
>> Durrell himself displayed this ability to give due attention to major and
>> minor, firstly in the creation of his own ?minor? canon in works like White
>> Eagles (which he regarded as ?makeweights?) or in some of the apparently
>> inconsequential characters of the island books. Secondly, in his ?major?
>> works, Durrell, like Kipling, brought the great and the insignificant into
>> close and urgent contact (he called the Quartet ?such a strange mixture of
>> sex and the secret service!? SP 120), so much so as to make us enquire at
>> what point a character gains or loses cardinal significance: for example,
>> the nameless loader who appears and disappears within one paragraph of the
>> Quartet after the supposed death of Capodistria (Quartet 76- 7), or Krov,
>> the ?slave-prisoner? of General von Esslin (Quintet 877-83), take on a
>> vital role illustrative of some mythological level far out of proportion to
>> their social or narrative function, precisely because that function is not
>> part of the cultural val!
>>  ues Durrell shared with the nineteenth century. Durrell employed this
>> kind of simplicity as a means of communication ? one he particularly valued
>> in the ?minor mythologies? ? because it made the reader an accomplice at
>> the deepest level of story-telling at which the primitive, as opposed to
>> the sophisticated, method of narrative is revealed as the more effective
>> bonding mechanism of society:
>> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn3> think of
>> Pater?s Marius: ?his life had been so like the reading of a romance to
>> him?, <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn4>or, as
>> Groddeck put it in The Book of the It, ?read [my letters] as though they
>> were travel books or detective stories?.
>> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn5> It was thus
>> possible to engage not only in narration but also in analysis without the
>> reader becoming aware of the ulterior project.
>>
>> Writing of Wells?s The Time Machine and Rider Haggard?s She which,
>> Durrell said, embodied for the Victorians ?the great popular myths of the
>> age?, he made a case (in the latter instance by tracing that myth through
>> the Prester John legends to de Mandeville) for these and other ?great
>> folk-metaphors? (Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll/Hyde), that ?their
>> literary ancestry stretches far back into the age of the magicians and
>> miracles?. <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn6> This
>> resort to the merveilleux and the miraculous is one of the trademarks of
>> the baroque novelist, and was an integral part not only of Durrell?s
>> technique but also of his faith in the novel. He made a critical connection
>> between gothic narrative and the myths of magic, showing us that the modern
>> juxtaposition and interaction of science and art is merely another form of
>> an all-embracing philosophy told, like so much of Buddhism, through the
>> visions and spectacles of everyday life. Quotid!
>>  ian activity, rather than the characters who enact it, has its own
>> characters.
>>
>>
>> Thus it is easier to spell out the ?miracle?, the successful d?nouement,
>> if it is already anticipated as part of the reader?s act of faith within
>> the act of reading
>> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn7> It would only
>> be with the c?sura after the Quartet that this faith hit the rocks of
>> Durrell?s despair. To the genre of adventure in Kim we can add Durrell?s
>> childhood introduction to the works of Dickens and, on the evidence of Pied
>> Piper of Lovers, Henty, Ballantyne and Dumas (PPL 124, 192). Durrell?s
>> library contained several examples of Buchan?s work, together with volumes
>> of Baroness Orczy and Anthony Hope
>> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn8> and he often
>> referred to Wodehouse as an important example of subversive humour ? a
>> technique he put to use not only in the ?Antrobus? pictures from diplomatic
>> life but also in the structure and texture of The Revolt (indeed, as I
>> shall demonstrate in Part 4, there is an organic connection!
>>   between the two types of writing).
>>
>> Milan Kundera makes the point that a novel requires four special
>> ?appeals?: those of ?play?, ?dream?, ?thought? and ?time?,
>> <applewebdata://41AD9AD0-9A90-4271-B751-CF8949E94C50#_ftn9> and it is
>> important to note that it is the combination of seriousness of intent with
>> lightness of touch which gives Durrell?s fiction its onward drive: while he
>> is capable of arresting our attention with some lapidary insight into the
>> human condition, the dynamic in the reader?s mind is the question ?what
>> happens next??. The book must be a place of intellectual excitement which
>> is leavened by the idea of life-as-a-game.
>>
>> -------------------------------------
>>
>> Apologies for such a long quote but some on this list may not have Pine's
>> book, which I understand is hard to find in the second edition.
>>
>> I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
>> Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the high
>> modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an attempt to
>> make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him, which did not
>> include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or low.
>>
>> Maybe I'm ill-versed, but I don't get the rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>>
>> James Esposito
>>
>>
>>
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL: <
>> http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/e74874a6/attachment-0001.html
>> >
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 4
>> Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 10:44:34 -0700
>> From: Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com>
>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
>> Message-ID:
>>         <
>> CANDhJnQzTRzn0AeLRbxMQvFQLLMsO5c_54K7ey9wOtZXt4a-sg at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>>
>> FYI: http://lawrencedurrell.org/wp_durrell/deus-loci/
>>
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 10:34 AM, Bruce Redwine <
>> bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > I think Gifford sums up nicely the main issues raised by Esposito.  The
>> > long quotation is from the 2nd ed. of Pine?s *Mindscape* (2005):
>> >  114-16.  Durrell?s concern about ?minor mythologies? and literature as
>> > ?play? is nothing new.  Way back in the Middle Ages the function of
>> > literature was described as ?to delight and instruct,? and even that
>> > exhortation probably goes further back to the Romans, at least.  We?re
>> > probably talking about the context of Durrell?s remark and how he
>> thought
>> > literature had become too highbrow.  There?s nothing wrong with telling
>> a
>> > good story and all that that involves?at which Durrell could excel when
>> in
>> > good form.  On the other hand, he was probably ahead of his time when he
>> > talks about giving equal weight to the popular literature of the time.
>> My
>> > sense is that academics are currently mining that very topic, if in
>> > somewhat abstruse fashion, that is, buttressed by a lot of Continental
>> > ?theory.?
>> >
>> > Bruce
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > On Mar 24, 2016, at 9:42 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi James,
>> >
>> > On 2016-03-24 3:06 AM, james Esposito wrote:
>> >
>> > I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
>> > Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
>> > high modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
>> > attempt to make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him,
>> > which did not include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or
>> > low.
>> >
>> >
>> > Please, "James" is just fine (no need for the professor bit).  Thanks
>> for
>> > your comments -- it's always good to have new voices on the listserv.
>> >
>> > As for the high modernists, some of it is fairly overt in the text.  He
>> > even wrote in 1975 that /Panic Spring/ is "a pretty good anthology of
>> the
>> > styles of the writers I then admired, Huxley, Graves, Aldington,
>> Lawrence,"
>> > although as usual I think he left the biggest names out of the list...
>> >
>> > For instance, Noah seduces/assaults Francis in a scene very much like
>> that
>> > in the "A Game of Chess" section of T.S. Eliot's /The Waste Land/ or
>> > between the typist and young man in "The First Sermon" section.  Just in
>> > case we don't catch what Durrell's up to, Noah asks Francis if she's
>> read
>> > /The Waste Land/ after having made sure copies of Ezra Pound and Eliot
>> are
>> > visible in the room.  It's also not really a great surprise since the
>> book
>> > was published by Faber & Faber where Eliot was an editor and Durrell
>> was in
>> > correspondence with him.
>> >
>> > We get kindred stream of consciousness scenes like Woolf and Joyce in
>> "The
>> > Music" chapter as well as gestures to shell shock through Marlowe.
>> > Overall, Durrell's fairly explicit about taking up stylistic and
>> thematic
>> > models from the high modernists here, and while I think he had an uneasy
>> > relationship with those predecessors (for instance, in many respects
>> > substituting Cavafy for Eliot in the Quartet), they're also overt
>> > influences.
>> >
>> > Other gestures to Eliot are fairly overt, such as in the "Walsh" chapter
>> > when the narrative voice tells us "They walked in the rain together,
>> among
>> > a torrent of wet dead leaves, wind tugging their hair back on their
>> scalps,
>> > rain in their mouths and the smell of dead earth" which is quite close
>> to
>> > the opening lines of /The Waste Land/ (and in the preceding paragraph he
>> > stresses by repetition the "unreal" like Eliot's "Unreal city" from the
>> > same).  Francis is also like an "anaesthetised patient" much akin to the
>> > opening of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and so forth.
>> >
>> > Perhaps I should emphasize that I don't see this as a problem -- he's
>> > reacting to the most famous generation of authors immediately preceding
>> his
>> > own (and who were editing him...) while challenging and/or extending
>> parts
>> > of their project in the process of discovering his own.  I think it's
>> to be
>> > expected, and most authors of his generation did the same.
>> >
>> > I don't get the
>> > rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>> >
>> >
>> > The mud brick figures in his "With Durrell in Egypt" piece (collected in
>> > /From the Elephant's Back/) -- it's a brick from Hassan Fathy's Gourna
>> > village.  I've suggested that since Durrell describes reading Fathy's
>> > /Architecture for the Poor/ in the piece and gives such a prominent
>> place
>> > in the narrative to a symbol of the utopian project for peasants (the
>> mud
>> > brick is a key part of Fathy's revival of traditional materials), it's
>> not
>> > a politically neutral image.  I don't know how specific we might argue
>> the
>> > "meaning" of the brick in the narrative could be, but I don't think it's
>> > neutral or random.
>> >
>> > Others are arguing that the brick carries no importance, which I find
>> > unlikely, but to each their own.  I might even hope that it means both
>> > things at the same time -- Keats, after all, appears frequently in
>> Durrell.
>> >
>> > All best,
>> > James
>> >
>> >
>> > * * * * *
>> >
>> > James Esposito, 3/24/2016:
>> >
>> >
>> > I do not have access to "Deus Loci" - I first became aware of Durrell's
>> > "Minor Mythologies" in Pine's book "Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape"
>> where
>> > he says:
>> >
>> >
>> > A further characteristic of Durrell?s understanding of the nineteenth
>> > century was his refusal to build his house exclusively on the plane of
>> > ?high? literature, and his insistence instead on pursuing it through
>> major
>> > and minor modes. Thus his own adventure novel *White Eagles over
>> Serbia*,
>> > written in the Buchanesque style of so much of his early reading,
>> combines
>> > elements of the detective story and the grail quest. (In the *Quartet*
>> Darley
>> > criticises the writing of the much-envied Pursewarden: ?what is missing
>> in
>> > his work - but this is a criticism of all works which do not reach the
>> > front rank - is a sense of play? - *Quartet* 670.) It is a genre he much
>> > admired, for example relishing the Quixote-Panza relationship of
>> > Wodehouse?s Wooster and Jeeves (we have already seen him imagining
>> himself
>> > as a new Wodehouse). He saw Wooster in descent from ?the great Knights
>> of
>> > the Romance pattern?, saying ?he is a knight in the sense that he is a
>> > gentleman absolute. He can do no evil. It is the terrific
>> responsibility of
>> > wasting time amusingly that exhausts him so?
>> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn1>? a remarkable insight into the
>> > preoccupations of the one-time dandy faced with all the burdens of
>> > decadence. (In the same frame of mind he might have held the image of
>> > Scobie as ?Popeye the Sailor Man? and Nessim as the ?chevalier sans
>> peur? ?
>> > *Quartet *549.) In the same essay, ?The Minor Mythologies?, Durrell made
>> > the case for considering the characters of minor fiction in the same
>> > critical bracket:
>> >
>> >
>> > The myth-making faculty is busy at many different levels; a critic
>> > interested in the creative process may find more food for thought in a
>> > Stephen Daedelus [*sic*] than in a Jeeves.Yet he should be prepared to
>> > acknowledge them both as part of the broad flood of a nation?s
>> literature
>> > flowing out towards the future, to the sea. Many readers might think it
>> a
>> > waste of time but how delightful a book on the minor mythologies of the
>> age
>> > could be made if one could persuade a serious critic to consider its
>> > figures... Holmes, Jeeves, Dr Fu Manchu, Captain Blood, Bulldog
>> Drummond,
>> > Raffles, Bones, Captain Nemo, Frankenstein, Dracula.
>> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn2>
>> >
>> >
>> > Durrell himself displayed this ability to give due attention to major
>> and
>> > minor, firstly in the creation of his own ?minor? canon in works like
>> *White
>> > Eagles* (which he regarded as ?makeweights?) or in some of the
>> apparently
>> > inconsequential characters of the island books. Secondly, in his ?major?
>> > works, Durrell, like Kipling, brought the great and the insignificant
>> into
>> > close and urgent contact (he called the *Quartet *?such a strange
>> mixture
>> > of sex and the secret service!? *SP* 120), so much so as to make us
>> > enquire at what point a character gains or loses cardinal significance:
>> for
>> > example, the nameless loader who appears and disappears within one
>> > paragraph of the *Quartet* after the supposed death of Capodistria (
>> > *Quartet *76- 7), or Krov, the ?slave-prisoner? of General von Esslin (
>> > *Quintet* 877-83), take on a vital role illustrative of some
>> mythological
>> > level far out of proportion to their social or narrative function,
>> > precisely because that function is not part of the cultural values
>> Durrell
>> > shared with the nineteenth century. Durrell employed this kind of
>> > simplicity as a means of communication ? one he particularly valued in
>> the
>> > ?minor mythologies? ? because it made the reader an accomplice at the
>> > deepest level of story-telling at which the primitive, as opposed to the
>> > sophisticated, method of narrative is revealed as the more effective
>> > bonding mechanism of society: <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn3> think of
>> > Pater?s Marius: ?his life had been so like the reading of a romance to
>> him?,
>> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn4>or, as Groddeck put it in *The Book of the
>> > It*, ?read [my letters] as though they were travel books or detective
>> > stories?. <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn5> It was thus possible to engage
>> > not only in narration but also in analysis without the reader becoming
>> > aware of the ulterior project.
>> >
>> > Writing of Wells?s *The Time Machine* and Rider Haggard?s *She* which,
>> > Durrell said, embodied for the Victorians ?the great popular myths of
>> the
>> > age?, he made a case (in the latter instance by tracing that myth
>> through
>> > the Prester John legends to de Mandeville) for these and other ?great
>> > folk-metaphors? (Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll/Hyde), that ?their
>> > literary ancestry stretches far back into the age of the magicians and
>> > miracles?. <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn6> This resort to the
>> *merveilleux* and
>> > the miraculous is one of the trademarks of the baroque novelist, and
>> was an
>> > integral part not only of Durrell?s technique but also of his faith in
>> the
>> > novel. He made a critical connection between gothic narrative and the
>> myths
>> > of magic, showing us that the modern juxtaposition and interaction of
>> > science and art is merely another form of an all-embracing philosophy
>> told,
>> > like so much of Buddhism, through the visions and spectacles of everyday
>> > life. Quotidian activity, rather than the characters who enact it, has
>> its
>> > own characters.
>> >
>> >
>> > Thus it is easier to spell out the ?miracle?, the successful d?nouement,
>> > if it is already anticipated as part of the reader?s act of faith within
>> > the act of reading <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn7> It would only be with
>> > the *c?sura* after the *Quartet* that this faith hit the rocks of
>> > Durrell?s despair. To the genre of adventure in *Kim* we can add
>> > Durrell?s childhood introduction to the works of Dickens and, on the
>> > evidence of *Pied Piper of Lovers*, Henty, Ballantyne and Dumas (*PPL*
>> 124,
>> > 192). Durrell?s library contained several examples of Buchan?s work,
>> > together with volumes of Baroness Orczy and Anthony Hope
>> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn8> and he often referred to Wodehouse as an
>> > important example of subversive humour ? a technique he put to use not
>> only
>> > in the ?Antrobus? pictures from diplomatic life but also in the
>> structure
>> > and texture of *The Revolt* (indeed, as I shall demonstrate in Part 4,
>> > there is an organic connection between the two types of writing).
>> >
>> > Milan Kundera makes the point that a novel requires four special
>> > ?appeals?: those of ?play?, ?dream?, ?thought? and ?time?,
>> > <#m_5996440815883147648__ftn9> and it is important to note that it is
>> the
>> > combination of seriousness of intent with lightness of touch which gives
>> > Durrell?s fiction its onward drive: while he is capable of arresting our
>> > attention with some lapidary insight into the human condition, the
>> dynamic
>> > in the reader?s mind is the question ?what happens next??. The book
>> must be
>> > a place of intellectual excitement which is leavened by the idea of
>> > life-as-a-game.
>> >
>> > -------------------------------------
>> >
>> > Apologies for such a long quote but some on this list may not have
>> Pine's
>> > book, which I understand is hard to find in the second edition.
>> >
>> > I would only add to that that I don't agree with Professor Gifford about
>> > Durrell writing "Panic Spring" "to emulate the formal effects of the
>> high
>> > modernists". In my opinion, he wrote it (with a pseudonym) as an
>> attempt to
>> > make a Greek-island novel using the tools available to him, which did
>> not
>> > include any deep understanding of the modernists, high or low.
>> >
>> > Maybe I'm ill-versed, but I don't get the rhetoric about the mud bricks.
>> >
>> > James Esposito
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > ILDS mailing list
>> > ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> > https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>> >
>> >
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL: <
>> http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/852dd1c3/attachment-0001.html
>> >
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Subject: Digest Footer
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> ILDS mailing list
>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> End of ILDS Digest, Vol 107, Issue 9
>> ************************************
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> ILDS mailing list
>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>>
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160325/c6ddb34a/attachment-0001.html>

------------------------------

Message: 5
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 16:25:42 -0700
From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
To: Sumantra Nag <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [ilds] Mr. Esposito
Message-ID: <DBFE26BA-E9CF-463A-B8DD-AA5F04655FBF at earthlink.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8

I wonder what it means ?to enjoy texts??  Isn?t that what we?re doing?  I think James Gifford is on target.  And I, a non-academic, thank him for his insights, which increase my enjoyment.  Keep it up, James!

Bruce





> On Mar 24, 2016, at 3:32 PM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I perhaps did not make myself clear on the subject of Durrell's relationship to the modernists. Of course he was well aware of the Eliots, Huxleys, etc, but what I meant was that we should not necessarily assume 'the anxiety of influence' - the fact that there are echoes of Eliot etc in Durrell's work does not allow us to infer that he deliberately set out to imitate them or to make obvious references to them - merely that, as a (still) apprentice writer in the first 2 novels he was setting out his own stall, not theirs.
> And as for Keats, if I remember correctly, he got killed.
> As for the mud bricks, I think it's completely far-fetched to read political persuasions into the fact that Durrell referred to a basic building material. They were just mud-bricks, not political slogans.
> I think there is far too much time and effort spent on trying to analyse what Durrell may or may not have ingested into his writer's subconscious. It may be an amusing pastime for academics, but they should be teaching their students how to enjoy texts and not how to tear them apart. It isn't 'hunting of the snark' territory.
> James Esposito
>
>




------------------------------

Message: 6
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 16:59:03 -0700
From: James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
To: ILDS Listserv <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Subject: Re: [ilds] Wordspinners
Message-ID: <56F47F47.7090503 at gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed

Hi Bruce,

On 2016-03-24 10:34 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
> he was probably ahead of
> his time when he talks about giving equal
> weight to the popular literature of the time.
> My sense is that academics are currently mining
> that very topic, if in somewhat abstruse
> fashion, that is, buttressed by a lot of
> Continental ?theory.?

Indeed, Durrell was ahead of his time, but he's not alone in it, and
some of the "big" movements precede his essay (Adorno & Horkheimer,
L?wnthal, etc and the "critical theory" group meaning Frankfurt School).
  Even Oxford UP's venerable /Year's Work in English Studies/ now has a
section devoted to comics scholarship, which has been a strong area of
work in Europe for some time now.  I, for one, think some of it is
excellent.

One of the fascinating tensions, for me at least, is that so much of the
foundational work on popular culture was Marxist in orientation (coming
from the Frankfurt School and Birmingham School), which means it tends
to look at cultural products as symptomatic of the material
circumstances or the organization of a society.  This means that the
genuine aesthetic of much pop culture is left out, which is precisely
what fan cultures are often looking for.  The third area is identity
politics or the politics of representation -- three areas with competing
interests shaping how folks talk about this field, and none of it really
overlaps with Old D.

I think of it sometimes like 3 groups in a classroom: (1) a fuzzy prof
(or maybe a fuzzy student) interested largely in how the historical
tensions of a particular moment are manifested in the mainstream
cultural artefacts, (2) a large group of students interested in book
/XYZ/ because it's just so incredibly cool, and then (3) that small
group there because the text spoke them in their often marginalized
position in society...  Durrell strikes me as looking for a fourth to
add -- how does the popular appeal explain something about the
operations of the individual mind, hence his references to Jung and
archetypes.

As for the academic work on popular culture, it tends to follow those 3
groupings: the "somewhat abstruse" materialist group, the fan-culture
crossover works, and investigations of representation.  Three
representative works might be (1) Fredric Jameson on science fiction,
(2) almost anything from McFarland & Co. publishers, and (3) Constance
Penley on the Kirk/Spock phenomenon (about which I'm sure Durrell would
have been delighted).

All best,
James


------------------------------

Message: 7
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 19:40:06 -0700
From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
To: James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>,  Sumantra Nag
        <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
Subject: [ilds] Lit. of Pop Culture
Message-ID: <7788B615-10E8-4ABE-B56D-6C916F9E17E7 at earthlink.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

James,

Most interesting.  Thanks for the philosophical background on the treatment of popular culture in today?s academy.  Re Durrell (whose preferred term was probably ?metaphysics?), he was eager to experiment and dabble, especially in esoterica and the ?operations of the individual mind,? as you say.  Ken Gammage likes to bring in science fiction, and that?s surely relevant to Durrell?s interests.  I?ll repeat that I see Durrell as a novelist in the tradition of the European ?novel of ideas.? Which means, of course, that we as readers should discuss ?ideas,? Durrell?s ideas, overt or latent, and not something as nebulous as feelings about the ?pleasure of the text,? however that?s done.  How do we discuss Durrell?s ideas?  Well, Beatrice Skordili in her excellent article, ?The Author and the Demiurge:  Gnostic Dualism and The Alexandria Quartet? (2004), does a good job at just that.

Bruce





> On Mar 24, 2016, at 4:59 PM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Hi Bruce,
>
> On 2016-03-24 10:34 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
>> he was probably ahead of
>> his time when he talks about giving equal
>> weight to the popular literature of the time.
>> My sense is that academics are currently mining
>> that very topic, if in somewhat abstruse
>> fashion, that is, buttressed by a lot of
>> Continental ?theory.?
>
> Indeed, Durrell was ahead of his time, but he's not alone in it, and some of the "big" movements precede his essay (Adorno & Horkheimer, L?wnthal, etc and the "critical theory" group meaning Frankfurt School).  Even Oxford UP's venerable /Year's Work in English Studies/ now has a section devoted to comics scholarship, which has been a strong area of work in Europe for some time now.  I, for one, think some of it is excellent.
>
> One of the fascinating tensions, for me at least, is that so much of the foundational work on popular culture was Marxist in orientation (coming from the Frankfurt School and Birmingham School), which means it tends to look at cultural products as symptomatic of the material circumstances or the organization of a society.  This means that the genuine aesthetic of much pop culture is left out, which is precisely what fan cultures are often looking for.  The third area is identity politics or the politics of representation -- three areas with competing interests shaping how folks talk about this field, and none of it really overlaps with Old D.
>
> I think of it sometimes like 3 groups in a classroom: (1) a fuzzy prof (or maybe a fuzzy student) interested largely in how the historical tensions of a particular moment are manifested in the mainstream cultural artefacts, (2) a large group of students interested in book /XYZ/ because it's just so incredibly cool, and then (3) that small group there because the text spoke them in their often marginalized position in society...  Durrell strikes me as looking for a fourth to add -- how does the popular appeal explain something about the operations of the individual mind, hence his references to Jung and archetypes.
>
> As for the academic work on popular culture, it tends to follow those 3 groupings: the "somewhat abstruse" materialist group, the fan-culture crossover works, and investigations of representation.  Three representative works might be (1) Fredric Jameson on science fiction, (2) almost anything from McFarland & Co. publishers, and (3) Constance Penley on the Kirk/Spock phenomenon (about which I'm sure Durrell would have been delighted).
>
> All best,
> James
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160324/547dc1be/attachment-0001.html>

------------------------------

Message: 8
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2016 10:58:08 +0200
From: james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Mr. Esposito
Message-ID:
        <CAFcAaFchM_C_1PxeZADgk3XYK31vMqm-VBX8BUn-KQ0mnagDoA at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

By 'teaching their students how to enjoy texts' I meant that I see the
principal purpose of teaching as the widening of students' appreciation of
their chosen subject, be it literature, science or any other discipline.
Education surely exists to enlighten young minds (and older!) and to give
them a better understanding of themselves and the world. That may seem very
old-fashioned but I think such purposes are diminished by what Keats called
(paraphrase) unnecessary reaching out for reason - that is, the searching
for explanations of what, ultimately, cannot be explained - credo quia
absurdum. We owe it to ourselves and others (we, being teachers, writers
and readers) to focus primarily on what the texts say, not what they don't
say, or what a critic may think they say.
James Esposito


On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 1:25 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
wrote:

> I wonder what it means ?to enjoy texts??  Isn?t that what we?re doing?  I
> think James Gifford is on target.  And I, a non-academic, thank him for his
> insights, which increase my enjoyment.  Keep it up, James!
>
> Bruce
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Mar 24, 2016, at 3:32 PM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > I perhaps did not make myself clear on the subject of Durrell's
> relationship to the modernists. Of course he was well aware of the Eliots,
> Huxleys, etc, but what I meant was that we should not necessarily assume
> 'the anxiety of influence' - the fact that there are echoes of Eliot etc in
> Durrell's work does not allow us to infer that he deliberately set out to
> imitate them or to make obvious references to them - merely that, as a
> (still) apprentice writer in the first 2 novels he was setting out his own
> stall, not theirs.
> > And as for Keats, if I remember correctly, he got killed.
> > As for the mud bricks, I think it's completely far-fetched to read
> political persuasions into the fact that Durrell referred to a basic
> building material. They were just mud-bricks, not political slogans.
> > I think there is far too much time and effort spent on trying to analyse
> what Durrell may or may not have ingested into his writer's subconscious.
> It may be an amusing pastime for academics, but they should be teaching
> their students how to enjoy texts and not how to tear them apart. It isn't
> 'hunting of the snark' territory.
> > James Esposito
> >
> >
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160325/bc3efe6b/attachment-0001.html>

------------------------------

Message: 9
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2016 15:02:59 +0200
From: Panaiotis Gerontopoulos <pan.gero at hotmail.com>
To: "ilds at lists.uvic.ca" <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Cc: Phyllis Zahradka <phyllismaiorana at hotmail.com>,     James Gifford
        <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>,    Richard Pine <rpinecorfu at yahoo.com>,
        James Clawson <clawson at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [ilds] Lit. of Pop Culture
Message-ID: <DUB120-W4917B11DC9A2350E2EDDE881830 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"

Dear List
I feel embarassed to return once more to the same old story, but this discussion on Pop Culture,  Durrell's "Minor Mytologies" , modernism and post-modernism, obliges me to return to my paper presented at the advice of James Gifford and Beatrice Scordili at OMG XIII held in Rhodes: " The myth of Pope Joan, Emmanuel Roidis and Lawrence Durrell" . That paper contained sufficent information showing that Durrell's Pope Joan is a carbon-black copy of a botched English translation printed in Athens in 1935 by the Greek immigrant in San Francisco T. D. Kriton art name of Timoleon Dimitriou Kourcoulakis. This assertion is comfortably demonstrated considering the systematic repetition by Durrell of unthinkable Kriton's blunders.
A couple of years ago I came back to the argument on this List reacting to Richard Pine's comment including Pope Joan among the "Minor Mythologies" of Lawrence Durrell. At that time I thougt that the notion was due to Richard Pine. Now I discover that it was Durrell's stuff, published in the 1999-2000 issue of DEUS LOCI. Can anybody in the List e-mail me a scan?
As of the popular italian saying traduttore-traditore Roidis' "Papissa Ioanna, A Medieval Study"  and  Durrell's "Pope Joan" are two quite different books hardly known by the Anglosaxons.
A symptom of the confusion reigning on this subject is the presentation of Durrell's book in the on-line Durrell's Bibliography of ZOTERO Project.  Namely: Author Lawrence Durrell, Title "The Curious History of Pope Joan", Place London, Publisher Derek Veschoyle, Date 1954.
It's all wrong.  Durrell is a sui generis translator and not the author. The title of the book published in 1954 by Derek Verschoyle was "Pope Joan, a Romantic Biography,  translated from the original Greek by Lawrence Durrell" .
The title "The Curious History of Pope Joan" belongs to the first version of Durrell's translation published in London in 1947 by RODNEY PHILLIPS & GREEN. This book quite different from the Verschoyle 1954 edition was never circulated due to the bankruptcy of the editors
Useless to say Durrell's mess  with Roidis book does not affect the Author of the Alexandrian Quartet but should help understanding his writings and his autodefinitio Supreme Trickster.
Thanks for the attention and Happy Easter for the Catholics
Panayotis Gerontopoulos

From: bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 19:40:06 -0700
To: james.d.gifford at gmail.com; ilds at lists.uvic.ca
CC: bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Subject: [ilds] Lit. of Pop Culture

James,
Most interesting.  Thanks for the philosophical background on the treatment of popular culture in today?s academy.  Re Durrell (whose preferred term was probably ?metaphysics?), he was eager to experiment and dabble, especially in esoterica and the ?operations of the individual mind,? as you say.  Ken Gammage likes to bring in science fiction, and that?s surely relevant to Durrell?s interests.  I?ll repeat that I see Durrell as a novelist in the tradition of the European ?novel of ideas.? Which means, of course, that we as readers should discuss ?ideas,? Durrell?s ideas, overt or latent, and not something as nebulous as feelings about the ?pleasure of the text,? however that?s done.  How do we discuss Durrell?s ideas?  Well, Beatrice Skordili in her excellent article, ?The Author and the Demiurge:  Gnostic Dualism and The Alexandria Quartet? (2004), does a good job at just that.
Bruce




On Mar 24, 2016, at 4:59 PM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com> wrote:Hi Bruce,

On 2016-03-24 10:34 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
he was probably ahead of
his time when he talks about giving equal
weight to the popular literature of the time.
My sense is that academics are currently mining
that very topic, if in somewhat abstruse
fashion, that is, buttressed by a lot of
Continental ?theory.?

Indeed, Durrell was ahead of his time, but he's not alone in it, and some of the "big" movements precede his essay (Adorno & Horkheimer, L?wnthal, etc and the "critical theory" group meaning Frankfurt School).  Even Oxford UP's venerable /Year's Work in English Studies/ now has a section devoted to comics scholarship, which has been a strong area of work in Europe for some time now.  I, for one, think some of it is excellent.

One of the fascinating tensions, for me at least, is that so much of the foundational work on popular culture was Marxist in orientation (coming from the Frankfurt School and Birmingham School), which means it tends to look at cultural products as symptomatic of the material circumstances or the organization of a society.  This means that the genuine aesthetic of much pop culture is left out, which is precisely what fan cultures are often looking for.  The third area is identity politics or the politics of representation -- three areas with competing interests shaping how folks talk about this field, and none of it really overlaps with Old D.

I think of it sometimes like 3 groups in a classroom: (1) a fuzzy prof (or maybe a fuzzy student) interested largely in how the historical tensions of a particular moment are manifested in the mainstream cultural artefacts, (2) a large group of students interested in book /XYZ/ because it's just so incredibly cool, and then (3) that small group there because the text spoke them in their often marginalized position in society...  Durrell strikes me as looking for a fourth to add -- how does the popular appeal explain something about the operations of the individual mind, hence his references to Jung and archetypes.

As for the academic work on popular culture, it tends to follow those 3 groupings: the "somewhat abstruse" materialist group, the fan-culture crossover works, and investigations of representation.  Three representative works might be (1) Fredric Jameson on science fiction, (2) almost anything from McFarland & Co. publishers, and (3) Constance Penley on the Kirk/Spock phenomenon (about which I'm sure Durrell would have been delighted).

All best,
James
_______________________________________________
ILDS mailing list
ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds


_______________________________________________
ILDS mailing list
ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160325/66a7cf9b/attachment-0001.html>

------------------------------

Message: 10
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2016 08:55:06 -0700
From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Mr. Esposito
Message-ID: <708A2934-3873-437D-870C-127AB2964FF0 at earthlink.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

This whole approach seems to me a grossly oversimplified approach to the appreciation and teaching of literature, which after all is not some exercise in logical positivism.  Words are tricky and not reducible to pat meanings, and how writers use words is even far more complex.  So I disagree with all your statements.

Bruce

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 25, 2016, at 1:58 AM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> By 'teaching their students how to enjoy texts' I meant that I see the principal purpose of teaching as the widening of students' appreciation of their chosen subject, be it literature, science or any other discipline. Education surely exists to enlighten young minds (and older!) and to give them a better understanding of themselves and the world. That may seem very old-fashioned but I think such purposes are diminished by what Keats called (paraphrase) unnecessary reaching out for reason - that is, the searching for explanations of what, ultimately, cannot be explained - credo quia absurdum. We owe it to ourselves and others (we, being teachers, writers and readers) to focus primarily on what the texts say, not what they don't say, or what a critic may think they say.
> James Esposito
>
>
>> On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 1:25 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> I wonder what it means ?to enjoy texts??  Isn?t that what we?re doing?  I think James Gifford is on target.  And I, a non-academic, thank him for his insights, which increase my enjoyment.  Keep it up, James!
>>
>> Bruce
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> > On Mar 24, 2016, at 3:32 PM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > I perhaps did not make myself clear on the subject of Durrell's relationship to the modernists. Of course he was well aware of the Eliots, Huxleys, etc, but what I meant was that we should not necessarily assume 'the anxiety of influence' - the fact that there are echoes of Eliot etc in Durrell's work does not allow us to infer that he deliberately set out to imitate them or to make obvious references to them - merely that, as a (still) apprentice writer in the first 2 novels he was setting out his own stall, not theirs.
>> > And as for Keats, if I remember correctly, he got killed.
>> > As for the mud bricks, I think it's completely far-fetched to read political persuasions into the fact that Durrell referred to a basic building material. They were just mud-bricks, not political slogans.
>> > I think there is far too much time and effort spent on trying to analyse what Durrell may or may not have ingested into his writer's subconscious. It may be an amusing pastime for academics, but they should be teaching their students how to enjoy texts and not how to tear them apart. It isn't 'hunting of the snark' territory.
>> > James Esposito
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> ILDS mailing list
>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160325/6795d341/attachment-0001.html>

------------------------------

Message: 11
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2016 18:08:26 +0200
From: james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Mr. Esposito
Message-ID:
        <CAFcAaFdX3EkCtrueskTRrsqo14OReq+A84VX3XW4H5kL=tbSXA at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

I am very sorry indeed to learn that you disagree with the following
statement:
"Education surely exists to enlighten young minds (and older!) and to give
them a better understanding of themselves and the world."
James Esposito

On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 5:55 PM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
wrote:

> This whole approach seems to me a grossly oversimplified approach to the
> appreciation and teaching of literature, which after all is not some
> exercise in logical positivism.  Words are tricky and not reducible to pat
> meanings, and how writers use words is even far more complex.  So I
> disagree with all your statements.
>
> Bruce
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Mar 25, 2016, at 1:58 AM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> By 'teaching their students how to enjoy texts' I meant that I see the
> principal purpose of teaching as the widening of students' appreciation of
> their chosen subject, be it literature, science or any other discipline.
> Education surely exists to enlighten young minds (and older!) and to give
> them a better understanding of themselves and the world. That may seem very
> old-fashioned but I think such purposes are diminished by what Keats called
> (paraphrase) unnecessary reaching out for reason - that is, the searching
> for explanations of what, ultimately, cannot be explained - credo quia
> absurdum. We owe it to ourselves and others (we, being teachers, writers
> and readers) to focus primarily on what the texts say, not what they don't
> say, or what a critic may think they say.
> James Esposito
>
>
> On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 1:25 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
> > wrote:
>
>> I wonder what it means ?to enjoy texts??  Isn?t that what we?re doing?  I
>> think James Gifford is on target.  And I, a non-academic, thank him for his
>> insights, which increase my enjoyment.  Keep it up, James!
>>
>> Bruce
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> > On Mar 24, 2016, at 3:32 PM, james Esposito <
>> giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > I perhaps did not make myself clear on the subject of Durrell's
>> relationship to the modernists. Of course he was well aware of the Eliots,
>> Huxleys, etc, but what I meant was that we should not necessarily assume
>> 'the anxiety of influence' - the fact that there are echoes of Eliot etc in
>> Durrell's work does not allow us to infer that he deliberately set out to
>> imitate them or to make obvious references to them - merely that, as a
>> (still) apprentice writer in the first 2 novels he was setting out his own
>> stall, not theirs.
>> > And as for Keats, if I remember correctly, he got killed.
>> > As for the mud bricks, I think it's completely far-fetched to read
>> political persuasions into the fact that Durrell referred to a basic
>> building material. They were just mud-bricks, not political slogans.
>> > I think there is far too much time and effort spent on trying to
>> analyse what Durrell may or may not have ingested into his writer's
>> subconscious. It may be an amusing pastime for academics, but they should
>> be teaching their students how to enjoy texts and not how to tear them
>> apart. It isn't 'hunting of the snark' territory.
>> > James Esposito
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> ILDS mailing list
>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>>
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160325/5daddbaa/attachment-0001.html>

------------------------------

Message: 12
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:19:49 -0700
From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Mr. Esposito
Message-ID: <CEF18043-A48E-4EE3-995C-60DDA477B0F1 at earthlink.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

I don't think your method will result in much enlightenment.

Bruce

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 25, 2016, at 9:08 AM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I am very sorry indeed to learn that you disagree with the following statement:
> "Education surely exists to enlighten young minds (and older!) and to give them a better understanding of themselves and the world."
> James Esposito
>
>> On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 5:55 PM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> This whole approach seems to me a grossly oversimplified approach to the appreciation and teaching of literature, which after all is not some exercise in logical positivism.  Words are tricky and not reducible to pat meanings, and how writers use words is even far more complex.  So I disagree with all your statements.
>>
>> Bruce
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>>> On Mar 25, 2016, at 1:58 AM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> By 'teaching their students how to enjoy texts' I meant that I see the principal purpose of teaching as the widening of students' appreciation of their chosen subject, be it literature, science or any other discipline. Education surely exists to enlighten young minds (and older!) and to give them a better understanding of themselves and the world. That may seem very old-fashioned but I think such purposes are diminished by what Keats called (paraphrase) unnecessary reaching out for reason - that is, the searching for explanations of what, ultimately, cannot be explained - credo quia absurdum. We owe it to ourselves and others (we, being teachers, writers and readers) to focus primarily on what the texts say, not what they don't say, or what a critic may think they say.
>>> James Esposito
>>>
>>>
>>>> On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 1:25 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:
>>>> I wonder what it means ?to enjoy texts??  Isn?t that what we?re doing?  I think James Gifford is on target.  And I, a non-academic, thank him for his insights, which increase my enjoyment.  Keep it up, James!
>>>>
>>>> Bruce
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> > On Mar 24, 2016, at 3:32 PM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> >
>>>> > I perhaps did not make myself clear on the subject of Durrell's relationship to the modernists. Of course he was well aware of the Eliots, Huxleys, etc, but what I meant was that we should not necessarily assume 'the anxiety of influence' - the fact that there are echoes of Eliot etc in Durrell's work does not allow us to infer that he deliberately set out to imitate them or to make obvious references to them - merely that, as a (still) apprentice writer in the first 2 novels he was setting out his own stall, not theirs.
>>>> > And as for Keats, if I remember correctly, he got killed.
>>>> > As for the mud bricks, I think it's completely far-fetched to read political persuasions into the fact that Durrell referred to a basic building material. They were just mud-bricks, not political slogans.
>>>> > I think there is far too much time and effort spent on trying to analyse what Durrell may or may not have ingested into his writer's subconscious. It may be an amusing pastime for academics, but they should be teaching their students how to enjoy texts and not how to tear them apart. It isn't 'hunting of the snark' territory.
>>>> > James Esposito
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> ILDS mailing list
>>>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>>>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> ILDS mailing list
>>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> ILDS mailing list
>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20160325/6346548d/attachment-0001.html>

------------------------------

Message: 13
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:31:50 -0700
From: James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Lit. of Pop Culture
Message-ID: <56F567F6.5060703 at gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed

Hi Bruce,

I agree, Beatrice's work is excellent.  For anyone who cannot access it,
she's posted a copy to Academia.edu:

https://www.academia.edu/633349/The_Author_and_the_Demiurge_Gnostic_Dualism_in_The_Alexandria_Quartet

You need to join to download it, which some may not want to do, so it's
also online in the National Library for direct access (you just need to
link past the disclaimer to access it, and then the whole journal issue
on Durrell is there):

http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/202/300/agora/2004/v3n01/

I'd certainly agree with you about the novel of ideas, but at the same
time, Durrell covers his tracks in ways that, say, Voltaire does not.
I've pointed in the past to Durrell's use of Nietzsche, but does he
endorse Nietzsche?  Hmmm.  Peter Christensen points to Durrell using
Spengler, but again, is he endorsing Spengler?  We even have praise for
Marx in /Monsieur/ (after decades of anti-Marxist comments), but is that
Durrell or his character?

That provisionality is, itself, one of the central "ideas" for Durrell,
or at least I like to this so.

All best,
James

On 2016-03-24 7:40 PM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
> James,
>
> Most interesting.  Thanks for the philosophical background on the
> treatment of popular culture in today?s academy.  Re Durrell (whose
> preferred term was probably ?metaphysics?), he was eager to experiment
> and dabble, especially in esoterica and the ?operations of the
> individual mind,? as you say.  Ken Gammage likes to bring in science
> fiction, and that?s surely relevant to Durrell?s interests.  I?ll repeat
> that I see Durrell as a novelist in the tradition of the European ?novel
> of ideas.? Which means, of course, that we as readers should discuss
> ?ideas,? Durrell?s ideas, overt or latent, and not something as nebulous
> as feelings about the ?pleasure of the text,? however that?s done.  How
> do we discuss Durrell?s ideas?  Well, Beatrice Skordili in her excellent
> article, ?The Author and the Demiurge:  Gnostic Dualism and /The
> Alexandria Quartet?/ (2004), does a good job at just that.
>
> Bruce


------------------------------

Subject: Digest Footer

_______________________________________________
ILDS mailing list
ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds


------------------------------

End of ILDS Digest, Vol 107, Issue 10
*************************************


More information about the ILDS mailing list