[ilds] RG Bitter Lemons -- hotels

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Sun Jul 8 18:47:23 PDT 2007


The tavern scene in Bitter Lemons reminds me of that other tavern scene 
in Prospero's Cell, which establishes Durrell's Olympian sense of 
history and promotes the eternal Greek:

Prospero, p59: 'Thus Ulysses can only be ratified as an historical 
figure with the help of the fishermen who to-day sit in the smoky 
tavern of "The Dragon" playing cards and waiting for the wind to 
change'.

As for hotels, they always seem to be claustrophobic places from which 
he must escape, though it is usually difficult to escape, as from the 
Superbo in Brindisi because there was no ship, or the Regina in South 
London, or Alexandria and the Cecil Hotel with its mirrors and 
misdirecting women.

:Michael



On Monday, July 9, 2007, at 02:27  am, william godshalk wrote:

> Michael's comment on Durrell and hotels seems right on target. Are
> hotels in Durrell liminal places? Durrell in a hotel has stopped
> traveling for the nonce, but has not checked in for the long haul. He
> belongs and he doesn't belong. In any case, he won't stay long.
>
> Also Charlie's idea that Durrell in the cavern/tavern reflects
> Odysseus in the cave of Polyphemus is a stroke of genius. But is
> there much of a threat to our (mock) epic traveler?
>
> Bill
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