[ilds] Douglas & Durrell

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Sat Dec 27 14:42:02 PST 2008

Received a copy of Late Harvest by Norman Douglas during Christgmas. It is a delightful hard cover edition published by Lindsay Drummond of London in 1946 and was purchased by Ronald Storrs for eight shillings and six pence. According to the pencil notes on the first page Ronald Storrs lived from 1881 - 1955 and served as Governor of Jerusalem around 1920. I feel rather honoured to have such a copy and believe, from the publication date, that it must be a first edition. Perhaps it is more valuable than the few quid Denise paid for it?

Lindsay Drummond Limited also published a Middle East Anthology that includes poems stories and sketches by Lawrence Durrell, G.S.Frazer and several others. Here a commentary on the volume which should resonate with Durrell readers

"it has a unity of period and unity of place. it is bound together not by a common theme but bu a common mood - the sense of exile, the exhausted tolerance, the climatic vividness, the queer sideshows that, for a West European, make up a complex of emmotions and sensations known as the Near East. Here is the sun on crumbling stucco walls: the endless patience of beggars:the smell of spices mingles with the smell of sweat: the dialogue of lust and death: the moment of rage and passion in the sun: the long cool evening, with the patient drinking, and inconclusive talk (this last bit - how Prospero's Cell)."

..as for Douglas himself - well, his writing is certainly polished but at the same time accessable. I would say it lack Durrell's 'angsty depth' - as one of my students likes to say. This, however, is a man after my heart (or liver at least)

"Champagne. Give me a pint or even less, without oysters and not too cold, every morning at 11:30."

David Green
16 William Street
Marrickville NSW  2204
+61 2 9564 6165
0412 707 625
dtart at bigpond.net.au
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