[ilds] Aphrodite's Revolt

Richard Pine durrelllibrarycorfu at gmail.com
Mon Jun 20 11:29:11 PDT 2016

Spengler: as far as I know, LD read the 2-vol edition quite early. The
abridged (One-vol) edition appeared in (?) 1962 and if LD read that, it
could not have been regarded as a 'crib'.
Paracelsus: he did have a copy of Hartmann's Life of Paracelsus (1896).
My 'Mindscape' is now available for all to read on the Durrell Library

On Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 9:04 PM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>

> Richard’s can of worms opens up many intriguing questions about honesty,
> which I’m sure would have pleased old LD.  I have one about Durrell’s
> reading habits.  Richard may have commented on this in his *Mindscape*
> (2005) or elsewhere, which I haven’t seen.  My apologies for laziness.
> Nevertheless, when he refers to “[Durrell’s] re-reading of Spengler,” does
> he know if Durrell read *all* of Spengler’s two volume *Decline of the
> West* (München 1918; New York 1926)?—which is massive, about 1000
> pages—or did he crib it from some other abbreviated source?  For example,
> some of Durrell’s readings in Paracelsus come via C. G. Jung’s work on
> alchemy.  Charles Sligh, I believe, has commented on this reading habit as
> evidenced by LD’s notebooks.  I wonder if something similar was going on
> with Spengler.
> Bruce
> On Jun 20, 2016, at 1:07 AM, Richard Pine <pinedurrellcorfu at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 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.
> RP.
> On Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 1:46 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
> > wrote:
>> 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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