[ilds] Bitter Lemons as a novel

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Sun Jul 15 19:06:22 PDT 2007

Well, Lord Melbourne said 'If it was not absolutely necessary, it was 
the foolishest thing ever done'.  But he might have been talking about 
his wife.


On Monday, July 16, 2007, at 02:37  am, slighcl wrote:

> On 7/15/2007 8:42 PM, Michael Haag wrote:
> Charles, thank you for that. So it comes down to a lack of utility and 
> a lack of seriousness of purpose. More that, perhaps, than even his 
> announced conservatism?
> I would have this tested by several others, but in short, yes, I think 
> that this reading is true.  I would never want to skirt Durrell's 
> independence of mind and abiding suspicion of higher politics.  I 
> think that you call this independence and skepticism about progress 
> "conservatism" here.  Is that right?  Durrell's skepticism about 
> progress, of course, does not mean that he accepted or endorsed 
> injustice. I think Durrell sees the problems in Cyprus quite clearly.  
> He is frank about the British community and their suburban ways.  And 
> I think that in Bitter Lemons he is made abundantly aware of the ways 
> in which several of his new neighbors hold too easy prejudices against 
> the English.  Ultimately, Durrell seeks out local, personal occasions 
> for remedying these misunderstandings.  Yet I can find nowhere in 
> Durrell much hope that matters will be righted through political 
> progress.  Maybe in the smaller polis--the cafe and the taverna--but 
> not in the synods and parliaments of man. 
> Durrell's sense of revolt, if it is noticed at all, is not expressed 
> in the right terms, and his ultimate crime is seen as self-indulgence.
> Yes, perhaps for those who are careless and presumptive, "Durrell's 
> sense of revolt" is a problem.  I think that Eagleton's review 
> captures something illustrative.  He clearly reads Durrell as taking 
> the easy way through life when he is not benefiting from the system.
> Charles
> -- 
> **********************
> Charles L. Sligh
> Department of English
> Wake Forest University
> slighcl at wfu.edu
> **********************
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