[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.

:Michael




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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