Bibliographic Information

From the elephant's back : collected essays & travel writings

Lawrence Durrell ; edited and with an introduction by James Gifford

University of Alberta Press, 2015

1st ed

  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references and index

Description and Table of Contents


"...the proverb says that whoever sees the world from the back of an elephant learns the secrets of the jungle and becomes a seer. I had to be content to become a poet." -Lawrence Durrell Best known for his novels and travel writing, Lawrence Durrell defied easy classification within twentieth-century Modernism. His anti-authoritarian tendencies put him at odds with many contemporaries-aesthetically and politically. However, thanks to a compelling recontextualization by editor James Gifford, these thirty-eight previously unpublished and out-of-print essays and letters reveal that Durrell's maturation as an artist was rich, complex, and subtle. Durrell fans will treasure this selection of rare nonfiction, while scholars of Durrell, Modernist literature, anti-authoritarian artists, and the Personalist movement will also appreciate Gifford's fine editorial work. "Gifford's scholarly command of the archives shows-especially his working intimacy with the unpublished archived words of Durrell's editors, publishers, and collaborators. I have no doubt that this collection will serve as a starting point for any number of new critical ventures into the life and writing of Lawrence Durrell." -Charles Sligh, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Table of Contents

Contents VII Foreword PETER BALDWIN XI Acknowledgements XIII Introduction JAMES GIFFORD 1 From the Elephant's Back PERSONAL POSIT IONS 27 A Letter from the Land of the Gods 29 Airgraph on Refugee Poets in Africa 37 No Clue to Living 47 This Magnetic, Bedevilled Island That Tugs at My Heart 53 Lamas in a French Forest IDEAS ABOUT LITERATURE 63 The Prince and Hamlet A Diagnosis 73 Hamlet, Prince of China 83 Prospero's Isle To Caliban 99 Ideas About Poems 101 Ideas About Poems II 103 The Heraldic Universe 107 Hellene and Philhellene 123 A Cavafy Find 129 A Real Heart Transplant into English 135 Introduction to Wordsworth 149 L'amour, Clef du Mystere? ETERNAL CONTEMPORARIES 183 Theatre Sense and Sensibility 187 The Happy Rock 199 Studies in Genius VI Groddeck 225 Constant Zarian Triple Exile 235 Enigma Variations 239 The Shades of Dylan Thomas 247 Bernard Spencer 257 The Other Eliot 271 Richard Aldington 277 On George Seferis 281 Poets Under the Bed SPIRIT OF PLACE : TRAVEL WRITING 287 Corfu Isle of Legend 297 The Island of the Rose 311 Can Dreams Live on When Dreamers Die? 317 Family Portrait 325 Letter in the Sofa 331 The Moonlight of Your Smile 337 The Poetic Obsession of Dublin 347 Borromean Isles 353 Alexandria Revisited 359 With Durrell in Egypt 379 Works Cited 391 Index

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  • NCID
  • ISBN
    • 9781772120516
  • LCCN
  • Country Code
  • Title Language Code
  • Text Language Code
  • Place of Publication
    Edmonton, Alta.
  • Pages/Volumes
    xxxii, 406 p.
  • Size
    23 cm
  • Classification
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