[ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 110, Issue 15

Richard Pine pinedurrellcorfu at gmail.com
Mon Jun 20 01:07:14 PDT 2016

I doubt if I can add anything. I have not read the comments on Tunc/Nunquam
as they have issued.
All I can say on the title(s) is that LD did not like the composite title
'Revolt...' - it is possible that it was one of several potential titles
that he suggested when his publishers asked for one, but I doubt it, since
he expressed to me his dislike of it and said it was due to his American
publisher's insistence. Whether or not that is true seems to be irrelevant,
given that nothing anyone says is necessarily true. We all tell truths
which are also lies. Some academic reputations are based on this premiss.
Maybe I'm naive in not looking a gift horse in the mouth, and maybe I
should not have taken LD's word at face value, but I remain sceptical
because in my opinion Tunc/Nunquam is not merely about the revolt of
Aphrodite, whatever that may be. In my opinion (backed up by what LD told
me, which may or may not be true) the books are more (but not necessarily
exclusively) about the revolt of man's conscience against the reification
and decline of intellectual and moral standards - our entire ontology as a
species. LD's brilliance in forecasting voice-sensitive recording machines
etc. (and his derivativeness in borrowing the idea of a simulated Iolanthe
from 'A For Andromeda') typifies this disillusion which was partly fuelled
by his re-reading of Spengler. That is my opinion, but of course I may not
be truthful in my opinion, since it is the function of critics to lie
through the teeth of a gift horse in order to prove their case.
As for the 'petrifact', my lie-detector suggests that it may refer to one
of the many sculptures of Aphrodite (of which the best known is the
so-called Venus de Milo) - the phrase "the austere mindless primitive face
of Aphrodite" comes to mind (AQ) - the blindness of the sculptured face
having become a cliche which LD uses (as he uses us) in Tunc/Nunquam in
relation to the mosque - just before the death of Sacrapant. But that is to
open a minefield of worms, a veritable diet...
Anyway I don't think much of that 'Aphrodite ' poem, especially the
Shakespearian allusion. We all live lives based on selected allusions,
n'est-ce pas? Believe me, I'm an allusion. And the allusion appeared unto
Mary and said 'How the fuck are you going to explain this to Joseph? You'ld
better start praying. Here's a god.: ' And his name was.... Mobego.

On Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 1:46 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>

> On Jun 19, 2016, at 1:53 PM, Ric Wilson <Ric.Wilson at msn.com> wrote:
> So the thing about LD's like or dislike of title(s) at hand, what could
> the subtext here refer to, I wonder?
> *Ric Wilson*
> Aphrodite
> Not from some silent sea she rose
> In her great wave of nacre
> But from such a one?O sea
> Scourged with iron cables!  O sea,
> Boiling with salt froths to curds,
> Carded like wool on the moon?s spindles,
> Time-scarred, bitter, simmering prophet.
> On some such night of storm and labour
> Was hoisted trembling into our history?
> Wide with panic the great eyes staring ?
> Of man?s own wish this speaking loveliness,
> On man?s own wish this deathless petrifact.
> 1964/1961
> Ric, I think Richard Pine can best answer your question.  My personal
> opinion, following Richard’s suggestion elsewhere, is that Durrell was
> being cagey.  That is, he in fact came up with *The Revolt of Aphrodite*
> as a title for *Tunc* and *Nunquam*, but he wanted to confuse the
> situation and thrown people off the track.  So he denied the fact.  What
> does the title mean?  The sonnet “Aphrodite” provides one answer, as it
> stands like a broken artifact, suggesting more than it reveals.
> Stay cool,
> Bruce
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