[ilds] Flaubert

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Thu May 19 15:51:16 PDT 2016


James,

Yes.  About "repetition compulsion," I think this aspect of Durrell cannot be overstated.  For example, Sacrapant's suicide by leaping to his death is repeated again and again throughout the oeuvre.  Claude's death, however, is too close to be dismissed.  It seems to me Durrell had a trove of "compulsions" at his disposal which he continually reworked into new forms.  He was obsessed.

Anyone care to gloss Sacrapant?  Reminds me of sycophant.

Bruce 



Sent from my iPhone

> On May 19, 2016, at 3:24 PM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Hi Bruce
> 
>> I tend to think Durrell “changed it deliberately.”
> 
> Always a possibility, but the same phrasing pops up elsewhere for other people -- it could be a common mis-remembering of a famous passage, much like Durrell's revised quotation from Wordsworth, which is very widely misquoted in the same way.
> 
>> “Thebaid” may refer to the southern nomes of
>> ancient Egypt
> 
> I'd be sure of it.
> 
>> Iolanthe’s deadbeat scene is very real and very
>> moving.  I read it as Durrell at Claude’s bedside
>> ... I tend to see Iolanthe as some version of
>> Claude-Marie Vincendon, transposed from Melissa,
>> the Greek prostitute of Alexandria.
> 
> It's a series, really.  Ruth in /Pied Piper of Lovers/ gives way to Gracie in /The Black Book/ leading us to Melissa, Iolanthe, and Sylvie. The biographies don't give a definitive answer, and once when I had a good chat with Margot Durrell, I asked her whom that person might be -- she said she didn't think he'd want her to talk about it.
> 
> Given how autobiographical /Pied Piper of Lovers/ is, I'd tend to think Durrell had an experience that gave the prototype for these alter recurrences, almost like a repetition compulsion to overcome mortality (so very much like Freud's description of it), with each recurrence growing with newly acquired losses and pains.
> 
> 




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