[ilds] DG Bitter Lemons -- maps

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Fri Jul 6 11:39:17 PDT 2007


We need to get our bearings, as Pamela Francis suggests, with a touch of exasperation, the sigh of "boys will be boys," I think.  Right.  Well, back to my question about maps, why doesn't Durrell insist on any, by and large, for his travel books?  Wouldn't this be a selling point?  The only one I can think of is the one in Sicilian Carousel.  (I suspect Faber made him do it.)  I offer this proposition -- he doesn't want any.  Being a good Romantic, Durrell knows that once you map a territory, it's no longer Romantic.  Maps kill Romanticism.  He wants terra incognita, where he can do as he pleases.  His islands are mythic landscapes, full of exotic names and strange creatures (Aphrodite's hermaphrodites), which he tosses around, notes in the marginalia of his story (like medieval MSS -- palimpsests), and makes little or no attempt to be realistic or modern.  So, the illustrations are also antique, 19th century or earlier.   They're what was called "picturesque" in the late 18th century.  When we do see contemporary photographs, it's something forced on him, or they're so full of ruins that you think you're accompanying a David Roberts on his journeys through Egypt and the Holy Land.  Anyone see the beautiful picture book, Paul Hogarth's The Mediterranean Shore:  Travels in Lawrence Durrell Country, intro. by LD (1988)?  That's another kind of imaginative recreation of Durrell's world, which he obviously endorsed.

Bruce

-----Original Message-----
>From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>Sent: Jul 5, 2007 9:18 PM
>To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: Re: [ilds] DG Bitter Lemons -- cyprus collector
>
>I rather like the woodcuts in Bitter Lemons.  A nice Crusader air.  But why didn't Durrell provide a map of the island?  One is much needed.  For example, when he lands at Limassol, the southern side of the island, I have no sense that the taxi drive traverses the fat part of the island to reach Kyrenia in the north, a journey of perhaps 100 miles.  I guess you could argue that all the ouzo shortens time and distance.
>
>Bruce
>




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