[ilds] Tunc kick off

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Fri May 20 18:36:52 PDT 2016

Great to see the Tunc football has been well truly punt kicked down the paddock eliciting awe from the sidelines at the height and trajectory of its flight. I have to say I am finding the book hard going and the fiery intellect of the recent discussions a bit over this shopkeeper's head, but here's a few thoughts anyway..

..there is Durrell's usual cast of oddballs - alcoholic scholars, mysterious aristos, whores pimps etc - disenfranchised outliers vaguely attached to some all encompassing firm, The Firm, much as we all are, and maybe this is Durrell's point; no matter how much we may want to, there is no escape unless via a leap into the eternal void.
	Also Durrell's use of indicative 'character' names, very 18th century, very Henry Fielding and for example brilliantly done in Dark Labyrinth. Or, names from classical antiquity, although no dogs called Homer so far. The past is always the key to Durrell, the past projected into the present, time compressed, something from which, like The Firm, we cannot escape but we have our booze, our whores or whatever to console us.
	For sure Margot Durrell knew something but I don't think there is any real mystery here: Durrell always projects versions of his current squeeze or squeezes past and present into his fiction, just like the cast of oddballs circling the author like moths around a flame. Durrell's books are, in general, highly autobiographical, life turned into art because art is more bearable as LD himself admitted and the Moodscape of Tunc is very much an exploration the great void, The Firm with the Devil at large of course.


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