[ilds] Bitter Lemons as a novel

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Fri Jul 13 11:36:59 PDT 2007

The first edition of Bitter Lemons has photographs of Grivas, Field 
Marshal Sir John Harding, the Hodja, Clito, Frangos, Andreas 
Thalassinos, Andreas Menas, Kollis, Sabri Tahir, the Muktar, Loizus and 
Lalou.  But there is no photograph of Marie, who was Marie 
Millington-Drake; she was real.  Nor of the person under observation, 
nor the daughter, nor of Durrell's mother, but they were real too, as 
were various others.  Then there are the people who were real and who 
were there but are not mentioned, the most glaring example being 
Claude, without whom ...


On Friday, July 13, 2007, at 06:19  pm, Denise Tart & David Green wrote:

> Interesting, to read Bitter Lemons as a novel.... Comments? RP
> RP! Bitter Lemons is to my mind not easy to classify. It makes no 
> pretense of being a travel book like the earlier island books although 
> one can see similarities. It makes political comment without being 
> reportage in the strictly journalistic sense. Is every situation and 
> character in it real in the sense of being a true and accurate record? 
> I doubt it.
> in the Hemmingway style the author only shows us the tip of the 
> iceberg. We can sense much more going on below the water line. There 
> is tension and drama, a subtext and a plot. the main character 
> journeys from being a detached 'private person' to one deeply involved 
> in the unfolding drama. Biographical novel perhaps?
> Charles Bukowski wrote 'Post Office" as a novel, but much of it was 
> taken from the authors stint at the post office in LA.
> Bitter Lemons is less fictional than this, but it can be read as a 
> novel. Perhaps it is travel book, reportage and fiction all rolled 
> together. We do live in a world that likes to classify but am not sure 
> that, in this case, it matters much.
> DG
> Denise Tart & David Green
> 16 William Street, Marrickville NSW 2204
> +61 2 9564 6165
> 0412 707 625
> dtart at bigpond.net.au
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