[ilds] Bitter Lemons

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 2 07:17:48 PDT 2007


Yes, this is a good assessment of Bitter Lemons.  It's also my favorite of the travel books, mainly because of the story, as the Greens describe.  But now that Durrell's fictive approach to non-fiction has been exposed, I wonder about the opening in Venice.  Did he actually start his journey in la Serenissima or was it bit of invention -- a nod towards the beginning of Othello and the tragedy both the Moor and Durrell encounter on Cyprus?

Bruce

-----Original Message-----
>From: Denise Tart & David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au>
>Sent: Jul 1, 2007 9:14 PM
>To: Durrel <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
>Subject: [ilds] Bitter Lemons
>
>Bitter lemons is quite different from Reflections and Prospero and shows a maturing writer growing in power. The history and culture and personality of the island is infered through character, landscape and events rather than directly described in specific chapters devoted to that purpose. I also think that in Reflections and Prospero Durrell was essentially reacting to landscape and manners rather than to, as in the case of Bitter Lemons, a specific and tragic series of events that evolved around the writer as he sought to make his home there. As such, it is far more a novel than the earlier island books and lacks their optimism about Greek space.
>
>re reading the book as I am now, I feel Durrell was hurt by his experiences on Cyprus. The bar scene where Frangos attempts picks a fight with Durrell is portentious and, despite its high points, the book moves inexorably toward the collapse in relations between the British administartion and the locals and Larry's flight from the island.
>
>It is interesting to note that after the Cyprus experience, Durrell hies it France and, although he visits Greece again, he never seeks to live there again.
>
>Bitter Lemons marks the end of an era for the author, a moving on. It is an excellent book - one of my favs
>
>
>Denise Tart & David Green
>16 William Street, Marrickville NSW 2204
>
>+61 2 9564 6165
>0412 707 625
>dtart at bigpond.net.au



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