[ilds] RG Bitter Lemons -- The Great Year of 1957

Charles Sligh slighcl at wfu.edu
Thu Jul 12 21:11:44 PDT 2007

Quoting dtart at bigpond.net.au:

> Secondly, as regards the interaction between Turk, Greek and perfidious
> Albion which ultimately works out well for all parties, is Durrell not
> showing us an outcome that may have resulted for the island for all
> parties with a little more cultural sensetivity?  Could I suggest that
> LD is saying that, if the British administration had been more Durrell
> like, the crisis may have been averted?

I think that you are right, David.  I had written with some inkling of what you
say in my post on the "lessons" of "tactful speech":

<<I have come to see that the whole of /Bitter Lemons/ thus
far--character, plot, drama, moral, history, politics, what have
you--might be characterized by that curious phrase, "tactful speech."

I recall Durrell mentioning "current misunderstandings" in his
"Preface," and later he worries about the effect of "bad manners."   I
am seeing each little drama played out in each chapter as lessons
against the larger "misunderstanding" that followed.  That these
episodes are hilarious makes them all the more fine, all the more human.>>

This would make the book fairly didactic in nature.  That this lesson-giving
does not distract me, but rather entertains me and touches me via human comedy,
I see as a mark of Bitter Lemon's success.  Others, however, may feel less at
ease with Durrell's caricatures and "cartoons," and I will look forward to
hearing from them.


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