[ilds] evil empire

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Wed Jul 11 12:19:49 PDT 2007

Bill seems to think that everywhere is postcolonial now.  Certain Greek 
voices would not agree, and they would lay the blame squarely with 
Lawrence Durrell.

Bitter Lemons is regarded by many Greek Cypriots as the work of one of 
the chief spin doctors of Western imperialism.  In the novel Closed 
Doors by the Cypriot writer Costas Montis, its translator David 
Roessel, known to the ILDS, writes in his introduction:

'For Durrell, the lemons of Cyprus were bitter for a few years; for 
Montis, some of the doors closed by colonialism are still closed.  
Durrell and the British could walk away from the intractable problem 
that they helped to create on Cyprus; in fact, Durrell never visited 
the island again.  For Montis, the bitter lemons and closed doors 
remain part of daily life on the divided island.  If Montis's book 
seems too angry and polemical, it is because both he and his island are 
still living with the legacy of the colonial government that Durrell 
served.  It may be that we in the West will have to learn how to read 
"answers" that re-appropirate a colonial narrative before we can truly 
appreciate them.'

[Costas Montis, Closed Doors: An Answer to Bitter Lemons by Lawrence 
Durrell, Minneapolis 2004]

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