Publications

Durrell, Lawrence. From the Elephant's Back: Collected Essays & Travel Writings. Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta Press, 2015.

[ Home | Podcasts | Music | Curriculum Vitae | Publications | Teaching | Blog ]








From the Elephant's Back: Collected Essays & Travel Writings

"...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 However, thanks to a compelling recontextualization by editor James Gifford, these thirty-eight previously unpublished and out-of-print essays and letters reveal that Durrell's maturation as an artist was rich, complex, and subtle.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"Gifford's scholarly command of the archives shows – especially his working intimacy with the unpublished archived words of Durrell's editors, publishers, and collaborators.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

Reviews

"Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, From The Elephant's Back is an outstanding collection of masterfully crafted essays organized into four major sections: Personal Positions; Ideas About Literature; Eternal Contemporaries; and Spirit of Place: Travel Writings. Very highly recommended for academic library collections, From The Elephant's Back will prove to be engaging, memorable, thought-provoking reading, and ultimately rewarding."
Midwest Book Review

"the interest of this volume does not only lie in the immeasurable wealth of Durrellian archives that are brought to the reader's knowledge: it also sketches out the fascinating portrait of an artist engaged in the creative production of his generation.... The final part devoted to travel writing will similarly edify and stimulate both Durrell's readers and all those who seek to understand the refinements of the genre."
—Isabelle Keller-Privat, Études britanniques contemporaines

Return to main page


Page Created: July 22, 2018 | Last Updated: July 22, 2018