[ilds] DG Bitter Lemons -- maps

Richard Pine richardpin at eircom.net
Fri Jul 6 12:24:01 PDT 2007

When I visited LD in 1988, he had just received the advance copy of The 
Mediterranean Shore . 'I've been analysed by Hogarth!' - he loved the 
recurrence of names (this one of course from Dark Labyrinth). 'I can lend it 
to you overnight, but you must bring it back - this copy - it's for Gerry'. 
And the next day he had had a seizure and I had difficulty gaining access to 
the house and to return the book (which I did).
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bruce Redwine" <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
To: "Durrell list" <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2007 7:39 PM
Subject: Re: [ilds] DG Bitter Lemons -- maps

> 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 18!
> th 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.
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