[ilds] RG Bitter Lemons -- say farewell, farewell to Alexandria leaving

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Tue Jul 3 17:30:50 PDT 2007

Dear ILDS listserv:

The Reading Group will now move on to a discussion of /Bitter Lemons/ 
(1957), which Durrell once claimed "completes a trilogy of island books" 
("Preface"). /

/In some/ /ways, with /Bitter Lemons/ we are moving into a different 
genre and a very distinct book.  In other ways/, /we will discover that 
/Justine /is inescapably, "invariably" also there in these pages.  After 
all, /Bitter Lemons/, which appeared in July 1957, shares a publication 
year with /Justine/, which appeared in February 1957.   Indeed, its 
sales were buoyed greatly by the success of /Justine/.  /Bitter Lemons/ 
sold out of its first two impressions by the end of July 1957; a third 
impression followed by August 1957; a fourth by September 1957; and so 
on.  As these figures show, it was an incredible moment and the key year 
for Lawrence Durrell as a publishing phenomenon.

For our opening gambit, we will read the first chapter, "Towards an 
Eastern Landfall."  The differences between reading texts should not be 
significant for anyone reading the early Faber and Dutton cloth and 
paper editions of /Bitter Lemons/.  Following our established practice 
in reading /Justine /as a group, it might be helpful to cite the 
episode/section numbers, which are designated by little ornaments  
within these chapters.

So now it begins--"not a political book, but simply a somewhat 
impressionistic study of the moods and atmospheres of Cyprus during the 
troubled years 1953-6" ("Preface").


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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