[ilds] And Then, next?

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at gmail.com
Sun Apr 17 13:36:02 PDT 2016

Some comments to Baldwin’s commentary.  Good start.


> On Apr 17, 2016, at 12:04 AM, PETER BALDWIN <delospeter at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Tunc? - here goes. 
> Charlock is the ‘thinking weed' (p11 in the single Revolt ed) but I would be interested in the possibility of the homophonic resonance with Shylock.

Another possibility:  a  pun on the obvious Sherlock, as in Sherlock Holmes, the ultimate rationalist, followed by E. A. Poe, another investigator, and textual references to the latter’s famous “raven”:  “ravens of ill omen in an oak tree” (14).  Why?  The narrator is a “thinking weed” (13), a detective of sorts.  Sherlock Holmes represents the ratiocinative spirit, which “Felix Charlock,” Happy or Lucky Charlock, may embody or satirize.  In the first page and epigraph, we already have references to “speech” (the logos?) as some kind of particle physics and possible quantum mechanics.  Both of which overthrown the rationality of Newtonian mechanics.  The Dostoevsky epigraph is from, I believe, the French translation of Notes from Underground; the quotation is also anti-rationality.  Why not the English translation?  Durrell loves obscurity and probably counts on his English speaking audience knowing little French.
> But the puzzles start on the cover - the title - an anagram - which came first, Petronius or D looking for a respectable source for the anagram?

Probably the latter.
> Then the symbol on p(7) :) is the nearest approximation I can type here.

I hadn’t noticed this.  Thanks.  It looks to me like an Egyptian glyph, possibly the crescent moon with a dot beneath.  I don’t read ancient Egyptian, so I’ve no idea of the significance.  Maybe Merrianne Timko knows.  I guess it has something to do with Claude.  I wouldn’t be surprised were it obscene.
> Then the heady quote from Dost?

Yes.  See above.
> At this novel I started my love of D - endlessly enthralling
> It worked for me because, at that first reading (c 1975), I became my own participant in the fabulation of the novel (' I brought introspection to a fine art' p 12)
> Peter 

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