[ilds] High Durrell

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Mon Jul 2 18:51:17 PDT 2007

Charles, I think a dive into Bitter Lemons would be, dare I say it, great. Durrell is arguably at this time (1957) at his peak; in good health, with some published books under his belt, useful life experiences in the corps diplomatique and as a press officer on Rhodes and, after the Yugoslavian sojourne, at leisure to give his writing the time and effort it needed.

he clearly loved the village of Bellapaix and, unlike in Prospero and Reflections, he lives among the Greek peasants, at least initially, not apart from them as part of an artistic or military elite observing the quaint manners of the locals. The peasants of Bitter Lemons are not figures in an idyllic landscape only - although they are this too - but are portrayed as real people, live, quaint, humorous - and dangerous. We laugh at the mad caperings of Frangos but remember that he is also large, armed and wants freedom. This is the tension of Bitter Lemons and also its tragedy: the affections of most Geeks for the English set against the drive for enosis. It left both sides rather sad.

" Despite the political tide, I could count on sympathies based in common neighbourliness. Indeed never once in the dark days to come did the affection of my village neighbours falter" (p 81  Faber paperback edition)

"Indeed Cypriot manners at their worst never came near the stupidities and impertinences I endured from the Scots on my only visit to the Rump." (ibid p 80)

Please, what happened to Durrell in Scotland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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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