Clark Blaise DAVID MacFARLANE - Essay

DAVID MacFARLANE

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

"I am writing a biography of Rachel's life, incorporating your autobiography and a little of my own—and together we might be writing a novel." So wrote Rosie Chang of the Department of English at Berkeley to Richard Durgin, novelist and former husband of the celebrated and deceased poet, Rachel Isaacs. Replying from Faridpur, Rajasthan, in India, Durgin, no longer writing and now operating a cabinetmaking business for diplomats in New Delhi, is intrigued, but not necessarily impressed: his sensitivity and cynicism co-exist in his Rimbaudlike exile, firing his recollections and quenching his literary ambitions. "I'm glad you think we may have a novel here," he writes. "I confess I no longer know what a novel is."...

(The entire section is 1023 words.)