[ilds] Bitter Lemons and the darkness on the edge of town

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Tue Sep 9 19:01:40 PDT 2008

Here's a Durrellian question to puzzle over.  In that great poem "Bitter Lemons,"  Durrell refers to the "dark globes of the fruit."  Lemons are yellow.  Moreover, the situation is night, with moonlight reflecting off the fruit, making them, to my mind, bright and shiny.  So why are the lemons "dark?"  Darkness is a key to understanding Lawrence Durrell.  

Bowker explores this strongly in his biography of LD "The Dark Labyrinth". The dark globes, the dark crystals are LD's discovery of himself and so we come to the the Prince of Darkness in the Avingon series. As Bruce Springsteen as said "in the Darkness on the Edge of Town" a song line I have always found very evocative. LD, egotist, eccentric, drunkard, nomad, outcast lived often in the darkness on the edge of town - consider his 'Vampire House' on the edge of town.

For all his wine, women, mirth and laughter, for all the sunlight of his prose, the black dog was on his back.


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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