MarcPiel marc at marcpiel.fr
Sat May 26 07:43:37 PDT 2018

Many thanks.LD lives on

Envoyé de mon iPad

Le 26 mai 2018 à 01:19, Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com> a écrit :

Kudos to Anna Lillios for bringing out another number of DEUS LOCI. It’s a stimulating read for Durrell fans as always.

Isabell Keller-Privat kicks off the essays with ALCHEMICAL DISTORTIONS IN LAWRENCE DURRELL’S ALEXANDRIA QUARTET which sends us to Clea and Capodistria’s tale of the homunculi from roughly p. 190 of my Washington Square Press paperback.

Samuel Kessler follows with “A MIGHTY SHIFTY STRANGENESS”: TIME, MEMORY AND NARRATIVE IN DURRELL’S AVIGNON QUINTET where he investigates “questions about time, the writing and recording of memory, and the quest to convey meaning and experience in literary fiction.” I always welcome new perspectives on the Quintet and there are several in this volume. There’s a typo at the bottom of page 22: ‘…the “real” Hilary, Livia, Constance, and Sebastian’ – that last name should be Sam. Ultimately Kessler concludes that AQII is ‘a prose-poem about the relationship between time, history and memory.’ I disagree when he says “Monsieur is to be that center, the point that transforms it from a square to a quincunx.” In his notes on page 37 he quotes A.S. Byatt marveling at how ‘brave’ Durrell was for ‘inventing a novelist who was writing a novel about a character and then making that novelist walk into the character as if both these people were now in the same story.’ I guess she didn’t read much science fiction. Check out Herovit’s World by Barry N. Malzberg (Random House 1973.)

Next up: THE ROLE OF LIVIA IN THE AVIGNON QUINTET by C. Ravindran Nambiar. Interesting – such an enigmatic character. The dark-haired girl who gives Blanford a chubby when she says ‘Oh. You are a poet’ and the haunted one-eyed Nazi are the same person.

In the first of two articles on the subject, MORE BITTER LEMONS: GEORGE TARDIO’S POEM “AFTER THE LEMONS” by Petra Tourney-Theodotou, she quotes Seferis’s poem “In the Kyrenia District” – which is a poem about Durrell! Really enjoyed his tone of voice – no wonder he won the Nobel Prize. I almost feel moved to stand up for Durrell. As Curley Howard might say, he was a victim of circumstance. Did LD really ignore the entreaties of his blind acquaintance Clitos to help him find a doctor? Everyone seems to think so.

I really enjoyed UNHOMELY, UNCANNY, UNMODERN? FINDING A HOME FOR THE AVIGNON QUINTET by James Clawson. I hadn’t thought about it, that the rotten houses symbolized the rot of the world during the lead-up to and then WWII. And I had completely missed this Felix Chatto (i.e. happy house) quest to find the lost chateau Bravedent! There is always more to discover re-reading Durrell. Kudos to Diane Vipond for rising above the ‘postmodern’ orthodoxy to label the Quintet uncanny. But those of us who grew up during the “new wave” of 1960s’ SF would advise you to call it Speculative Fiction – the preferred marriage of science-fiction and fantasy of the time. Please take another look at my own OMG paper on the Quintet, published by Paul Herron in A Café in Space volume 9, 2012.

MINORITY IN PERSPECTIVE: LAWRENCE DURRELL’S BITTER LEMONS AND THE CYPRUS PROBLEM by Barish Ali starts with a recap of the latest history of the political stalemate on the island – which made me suddenly realize: “Durrell didn’t cause it!” Interesting what happens when you write an enduring book like this: it make’s Durrell’s story larger (and longer) than his own life. It put a big target on his back, right? Colonialist! Propagandist! Ali does a great job focusing the discussion and then pulling back to a wider perspective. Love the cartoon on page 95. That was interesting, Don Kaczvinsky pointing out the similarity between the two schoolmasters, Durrell (on Cyprus) and his character Darley. In retrospect, it’s funny but absurd that the English considered the Cypriots to be British. One hopes for future peace there.

The POETRY is uniformly excellent as usual. Funny that everyone chose the theme of “Drink” to refer to alcohol. Not sure you need a theme next time.

REVIEWS featured Gifford’s FROM THE ELEPHANT’S BACK and PERSONAL MODERNISMS, MacNiven’s biography of James Laughlin the publisher of New Directions, Ravindran’s Indian Metaphysics, Clawson’s Crossing the Liminal – so a lot of ‘log-rolling’ going on.

Grove Koger’s Bibliography 2003-06 is heartening. The amount of Durrell translations is amazing.

MY FINAL PRAYER: Re-reading the beginning of Marine Venus – so beautifully written… WHO KNOWS SOMEONE AT FABER? PUT OUT A SMALL SPECIAL RUN OF UNCUT MV WITHOUT THE RIDLER EDITS. I WILL BUY 2. Efkharisto!


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