[ilds] RG Bitter Lemons -- Eastern Landfall & Bitter Politics

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Thu Jul 5 08:29:30 PDT 2007


On 7/3/2007 9:31 PM, Denise Tart & David Green wrote:

>         Regarding the comment that Bitter Lemons is not a political
>         book (Preface) I think that what Durrell means here is that it
>         is not a book of obvious political analysis from the
>         perspective a government official, but it is a political book.
>         The menace of enosis politics lurks behing many characters and
>         scenes and creates the tension and drama of the story. what
>         Durrell has done is to convert what could have been, in
>         another's hands, a dry analysis of what went wrong into a
>         'factional' novel in which the unfolding drama is told through
>         and highlighted by characters real, adapted or, possibly,
>         imaginary. In doing this Lawrence is very conscious of his
>         sullen art and craft (Thomas) as a capable and evocative
>         writer. My point is that Bitter Lemons is a political book,
>         but a highly ingenious one that is far from impressionistic -
>         Durrell is too obviously crafting the text to make that claim.

Yes, I thought that the "Preface" would a good place to start the 
discussion of /Bitter Lemons/. 

        This is not a political book, but simply a somewhat
        impressionistic study of the moods and atmospheres of Cyprus
        during the troubled years 1953-6.

As with all of Durrell's prefatory notes, epigraphs, dedications, and 
Workpoints, the reader is given a good deal of direction here. 

Here is my question:  We are currently focusing upon the first Chapter 
of /Bitter Lemons/.  If we read that "Preface" alongside Chapter 1: 
"Towards an Eastern Landfall," what do we find? 

That is, how does Chapter 1: "Towards an Eastern Landfall" work like a 
/second /"Preface" to /Bitter Lemons/, marking out, outlining, and (even 
better!) dramatizing Durrell's concerns in this book? 

To follow up on David's observation above, in Chapter 1, in what precise 
ways do we discover Durrell "crafting the text"?

/Kopiaste/!

Charles

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

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