[ilds] Melissa, comment vous défendez vous contre la solitude

Rui Martins rui.martins at drclvt.mc.gov.pt
Fri Aug 14 02:52:39 PDT 2009

Dear Sirs


My name is Rui Martins and I am from Portugal

I'm no scholar or anything, just a frequent reader of the Alexandria Quartet


Sorry to bother you with this question but it is a mystery the puzzles me A

May be you could give me some clues.


For years I have been reading the Alexandria Quartet periodically.

I did so, on the Portuguese translation by Daniel Gonçalves, generally
reputed as a good one.

On the third book, Mountolive, comes a famous line (Pursewarden dancing with


“Melissa, comment vous défendez vous contre la solitude" ... "Messieur je
suis devenue la solitude même"


Now, for the first time I’m reading the original, on the Faber and Faber
edition and, to mi surprise, (and sadness, I should say) I read :


"Melissa, comment vous défendez vous contre la foule" ... "Messieur je ne me
défend plus"


Put both lines on Google only the first one is quoted.


Being so different one from the other, It does not seem the case for a
mistake or a liberty from the translator, does it, could that be a rewriting
from the part of Durrell himself? 


Again sorry to bother you, but really I’ve seam to be deprived of one of my
favourite lines in literature ever J


Thank you again

Best wishes, 


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