Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The weight of the absolute world, of course, impinged

   Have you been stranded on Paros
   in the middle of an engraver's
   strike, when you had to get the
   place cards in time for a lunch
   on Lycabettus? Very likely, given
   how your rmbl shades give you a-
   way as the 4-year trouper that
   you are. But it's worse (let us
   console ourselves) for Gérard, 

   Later this afternoon, there will
   have been 4 years of this page,
   which ought to have been fair e-
   nough warning of diurnal unrest, 
   with ample time to join in.

   What has held you back? Pace one's
   own polemic of yesterday, the same
   compunction imperils the progress
   of one's own spirit, toward that
   commemoration in Durrell no media
   mariner can refuse. When he jests,

    At the post office I ran into the
    two French ladies. They had had a
    great shock, and they gobbled like
    turkeys as they told me about it.
    As usual they had been sending off
    clutches of post-cards to their
    friends and relations in France -
    they seemed to have no other occupa-
    tion or thought in mind. But peering
    through the grille after posting a
    batch they distinctly saw the clerk
    sweep the contents of the box into
    the lap of his overall and walk into
    the yard in order to throw all the
    mail on to a bonfire which was burn-
    ing merrily on the concrete, apparent-
    ly fed by all the correspondence of
    Taormina. They were aghast and shout-
    ed out to him - as a matter of fact
    they could hardly believe their eyes
    at first. They thought they had to do
    with a madman - but no, it was only a
    striker. He was burning mail as fast
    as it was posted. When they protested
    he said, "Niente Niente .. questo e
    tourismo .."

    To coax their absence with our memory ..


Lawrence Durrell
Sicilian Carousel
  [two fragments]
Viking, 1977©


  1. Congratulations on four years of rmbl. Looking back (even at just the four selections linked above), it has been quite a journey already. Abstract and literal, imaginary and autobiographical, literary and gastronomical, you have presented you readership with some gems that we are the better for having seen. Even as the follower of a single blog, I can confidently say that your page occupies a space shared with no other. I hope you are excited for what adventures or characters or tummies or books the next year of posting brings.

    1. Thank you for your considered appraisal, and for the inducements you invite one to pursue. I take your point about the incongruousness of the thing, and also the suggestion that parts are greater than their sum. I only hope you're wrong about improving one's readers. They are too valuable to lose.