[ilds] factoid: Durrell, Williams, Turkey

MICHAEL HAAG michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Thu Jun 14 17:25:06 PDT 2007


Williams was not the source for Durrell's background scenery for Istanbul; that lies elsewhere.  Williams knew next to nothing about Istanbul.  I do not recall that his book on Turkey included Istanbul; but I do recall that his book on Turkey was pretty poor.  To anyone who knows Istanbul, it is obvious that Durrell never went there, or at any rate knew next to nothing about the city.
   
  :Michael

Durrell School of Corfu <durrells at otenet.gr> wrote:
          Bill, after your presentation at Avignon on Durrell's consultation with friends about Istanbul (which, I agree, he probably didnt visit, and hence his anxiety to get details correct) I gave you information, subsequently incorporated in my book (sorry Bruce Whitewine) which you were unaware of, your reaction being 'Why didnt S----- C-- tell me abou this when I was in Carbondale?' - the evidence is plentiful, and I will now add the Williams to that in the next edition - thanks. RP
    ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: william godshalk 
  To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca 
  Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 7:16 PM
  Subject: [ilds] factoid: Durrell, Williams, Turkey
  

            To his friend Gwyn Williams, Durrell confided that a part of the narrative he was working on in 1965 (Tunc/Nunquam) was to be set in Turkey, and, since Williams was attached to the British Council in Istanbul and was himself writing a travel book about Turkey, Durrell applied to him for help. Williams responded by inviting Durrell for a visit. About a year later, Durrell had yet to appear, and Williams had sent him "two brochures on Istanbul" apparently accompanied by a map of the city (March 11, 1966). Although Williams reiterated his invitation to Durrell, as far as I can tell, Durrell never made the trip to Istanbul. 

I now have a copy of Williams's Turkey: A Traveller's Guide and History. Faber first published it in 1967, and after a cursory examination, I find no reference to Durrell. However, it might be interesting to compare Williams's guide closely with The Revolt of Aphrodite. 

Bill

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  W. L. Godshalk           *
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