Friday, 24 April 2009

The Literal and the Littoral

The latter being, literally, the seashore rather than the threshold. But one uses it for doorways, too. Let's not confuse the matter by bringing in litotes (meiosis by understatement). Litos means plain, after all. Litotes, simplicity.
I've made this distinction in regard to one of the great fantasy sequences, Durrell's Alexandria Quartet before. But I'm going to write a lot more about it in the next few days. Those of you who haven't armed yourself with a copy of The City & the City, duck.
It won't be about that, but it's made me reread all kinds of things.