Endpapers & Inklings: Uncollected Prose 1933-1988
is a two-volume hardback collection of Lawrence Durrell’s prose writings from his earliest years until shortly before his death, published autumn 2019 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Edited by Richard Pine, who contributes a substantial “General Introduction” and informative notes throughout, it is copiously illustrated with photographs, cartoons by Lawrence and Nancy Durrell, manuscript notes by Durrell and memorabilia.
The book is divided into ten sections:
Volume One : “Durrell on Durrell” (autobiographical); “The Artist’s Eye” (Durrell’s interest in the visual arts); “Fictions”; “Durrell at War” (letters and essays relating to world war 2); “Spirit of Place” (essays and prefaces).
Volume Two: “Durrell on Miller”; “Dramas and Screenplays”; “Essays, Lectures and Reviews”; “Incorrigibilia” and “The Asides of Demonax”.
Each volume will have a cover illustration by “Oscar Epfs” (Lawrence Durrell)
A special feature of this unique collection is the range of previously unpublished material or work that was privately printed and is no longer accessible. This includes:
- the short stories “The Cherries” and “The Will-Power Man” and the unpublished novella “The Magnetic Island” (with 3 drawings by Nancy Durrell)
- the text of the unfinished novel “Sappho”
- “Dreams, Divinations”, a chapter excised from the published version of Reflections on a Marine Venus
- essays on Cyprus from The Economist and The Times
- a journal of a duty-trip through southern Yugoslavia to the Greek border in 1949
- essays on Hans Reichel, Henri Michaux, Pierre Mac Orlan and Claude Seignolle
- “The Plant-Magic Man”, Durrell’s essay on his friend Ludo Chardenon
- the unpublished “farce” Black Honey on Baudelaire and his mistress
- treatments for the screenplay of Cleopatra
- “Oedipus: The Limping Man”, treatment for the film by Michael Luke in the form of a novella
- “The Minor Mythologies”, Durrell’s essay on popular literature
- the text of Durrell’s 1974 lectures on Ford Madox Ford and James Joyce’s Ulysses, accompanied by Durrell’s schematic drawing of the tripartite structure of the book
- Bromo Bombastes, Durrell’s squib on Shaw’s Black Girl, unavailable since its private publication in 1933
- “The Price of Glory: Gleanings from a Writer’s In-Tray” – a series of spoof letters to Durrell (and of course by Durrell)
- the entire text of “The Asides of Demonax”, Durrell’s final notebook.
The two volumes will be sold separately and as a two-volume set. Advance orders (at a discount price) can be made at the Durrell Library of Corfu’s “ISLANDS OF THE MIND” symposium in Corfu, 23-28 June 2019.
DURRELL LIBRARY OF CORFU and COLENSO BOOKS
an important addition to the LAWRENCE DURRELL canon:
publication (June 2018) of
The Placebo consists of the previously unpublished drafts for Tunc (1968): “A Village of Turtle-doves”, “The Placebo: an Attic Comedy” and “Dactyl”.
Dating from 1955 to the mid-1960s, they provide evidence of the evolution of Tunc as Durrell moved from an architectural metaphor for creativity and its relationship with nature (the building by Caradoc of a village in north-east Greece) to the role of Felix Charlock (about to become embroiled in the as yet un-named “Firm”) in pursuit of scientific enquiry in its relation to aesthetics.
The editors have provided two introductory essays: “From Fathy’s Gourna to Durrell’s Peristeri” by David Roessel and “The Placebo as a central text in Lawrence Durrell’s work” by Richard Pine. These analyse the texts and Durrell’s sources, including his friendship with the architect Austen Harrison, his knowledge of the building of New Gourna, in Upper Egypt, by Hassan Fathy, and the socio-cultural context of Greece in the immediate aftermath of the second world war.
Drawing on Durrell’s notebooks, manuscripts and typescripts to establish the principal topics addressed in The Placebo, the editors chart Durrell’s increasing disillusion with the decline of civilisation, the poverty of the written word and the marginalisation of creativity as he worked through a period of professional and personal depression. The Placebo offers a unique opportunity to study a creative intelligence engaging with universal issues in a profoundly personal way, and an insight into Durrell’s compositional methods over a ten-year period.
The text is copiously provided with explanatory notes of Durrell’s borrowings, allusions and quotations from classical Greek literature, philosophy and mythology. Four appendices include drafts of poems later published in The Ikons (1966) and some bizarre episodes in the career of Arthur Sipple, besides the full replies by Austen Harrison to a questionnaire from Durrell regarding the technical requirements of building a village.
The Placebo is also distinguished from Durrell’s other novels in that it is set entirely in Greece. The book is illustrated with photographs of Athens in the first half of the twentieth century, showing the city much as it still was in the period in which the book is set, the late 1940s to early 1950s. The cover is based on Durrell’s sketch for the village of “Peristeri”.
RICHARD PINE is Director of the Durrell Library of Corfu, the successor to the Durrell School of Corfu which he founded in 2001. The author of Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape (1994/2005) his fifteen books include The Diviner: the art of Brian Friel (1990/1999), The Thief of Reason: Oscar Wilde and Modern Ireland (1995), The Disappointed Bridge: Ireland and the Post-Colonial World (2014), Greece Through Irish Eyes (2015) and Minor Mythologies: a Student’s Guide to Popular Literature (2018). He is a guest lecturer at the Ionian University, a columnist for The Irish Times and Kathimerini and an obituarist for The Guardian.
DAVID ROESSEL is the Peter and Stella Yiannos Professor of Greek Language and Literature at Stockton University. He is the author of In Byron’s Shadow: Modern Greece in the English and American Imagination (2002).