[ilds] Tunc 1.1

Richard Pine pinedurrellcorfu at gmail.com
Sat May 21 00:18:35 PDT 2016


I think it's worth pointing out that the *fermata* above the name of Claude
Vincendon indicates a Pause - the duration of which is to be decided, in
orchestral music, by the conductor, in (say) piano-playing by the pianist.
It says 'here we pause, ready to go on again'. Conductors who are
unfamiliar with it (for example, towards the end of several national
anthems) ignore it at their peril.
There's nothing 'obscene' about it, provided you accept it as a musical
indication. If you want to see something obscene about a *fermata*, then
that opens up a (w)hole area of musical notation that would surprise
musicians.
If you accept that the mark in the book is indeed a *dermata* (which it is,
but may not be the only explanation of this particular mark) then you have
to ask why Durrell used it, and how he knew about it (his musical abilities
were intuitive, not technical).
RP

On Sat, May 14, 2016 at 7:57 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hi Bruce,
>
> I assume we’re going to bounce around in the text and not stick to the
>> usual fixed sequence, from beginning to end.
>>
>
> I think we can read any way we like...  There wasn't an instruction manual
> with my copy, so with Bill Godshalk very much in my mind, I intend to treat
> the book as passive and the reader as active.
>
> Re front matter, on 4/16/16, Peter Baldwin has already pointed out the
>> symbol above Claude-Marie Vincendon’s name in the dedication.  I’ll
>> refer to it as a lunette with a dot.  I think it’s Durrell’s symbol for
>> Claude.  I also think it’s obscene, so use your imagination.  Durrell
>> was fond on doodling in his books; he was also fond of obscene jokes.
>>
>
> I could be wrong too, but I've always read it as a fermata (the musical
> notation to sustain or hold), which seems entirely appropriate over
> Claude's name.  In effect, this book is for her and also as a way of
> holding onto or sustaining her.
>
> I believe
>> Durrell has truncated FD’s prose to suit his
>> purposes (he also alters Wordsworth’s letter in
>> the epigraph to /Quinx/).
>>
>
> I think the Wordsworth was a genuine mistake -- he misquotes the same
> letter elsewhere, as do literally hundreds of other people, perhaps because
> it sounds better than the original...
>
> In the English
>> translation of /Notes/, it’s clear that the
>> “the wall” refers to the logic of mathematics
>> as being irrefutable (so a character argues).
>>
>
> I think of Orwell's freedom to believe 2 + 2 = 4, or in other words, the
> freedom to be rational.  In this, we're stuck for freedom and
> intentionality with the Enlightenment subject (insofar as I am rational and
> have the capacity through reason to make self-determining choices, I can be
> free -- when I'm irrational or, perhaps like the drunken Charlock unable to
> exercise reason, I can't be said to make free choices).  This is, of
> course, very different from the subject described by Freud, riddled with
> irrationality or unconscious motivations.
>
> Rather than transcending the wall as a way of breaking with determinism,
> there's also the fear that such a transcendence would be a way for external
> powers to rewrite reality.  Dostoevsky looks to freedom, but it's qualified
> and hesitant as well.
>
> In Durrell, the meaning is ambiguous, i.e., it
>> either refers to logical irrefutability or it
>> refers to a barrier to be transcended.  If the
>> latter, then we follow up with all those many
>> references in text to multiple interpretations
>> of an event (e.g., “There seem to be a hundred
>> reasons to account for every act” [p. 264; 5.3]).
>>
>
> I'd go a long way with that.
>
> “Charlock” = Sherlock Holmes (p. 13; 1.1) ...
>> Charlock functions as a narrator/detective
>> trying to figure out a puzzle; the plot is a
>> mystery.  You and others might find this too
>> simplistic.  Maybe.
>>
>
> I don't think that's simplistic at all, although I don't know if having a
> mystery leads us to a solution, which might be where Durrell parts ways
> with Doyle.  He writes about Doyle in his essay on Eliot, noting that
> they'd both read him closely and keenly.  Charlock is certainly expressing
> the turn to rationalism, but like the "flora" of the characters in the
> Quartet (the opening of /Justine/ casts them as flora rather than fauna and
> as lived *by* the city rather than controlling their own lives and
> decisions themselves), Charlock is the "thinking weed."  I'd take this as
> suggesting his rationalism is suspect, just as we know our first person
> narrator is unreliable when he lies to his colleagues in the opening of the
> book while drunk (if we weren't already suspicious based on Dostoevsky's
> deeply unreliable narrator in /Notes/).
>
> But should we emphasize "Charlock" over "Felix"?  He is, of course,
> anything but...
>
> All best,
> James
>
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