[ilds] Trading in national charcteristics

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 13 16:00:32 PDT 2009

Very interesting.  I wonder if the travel books, which are largely  
"island books," can be studied in terms of some sort of progression.   
That is, instead of treating them as personal accounts of particular  
cultures and landscapes, looking at them as reflections of the  
author's changing internal or psychic landscape.  That might be a  
novel and telling approach, assuming it hasn't already been done.


On Oct 13, 2009, at 1:59 PM, Ozlem Ince wrote:

>  One can always trace phil-Hellenistic themes in Durrel's novels.  
> The geography of Greek islands is almost of a mystical nature for  
> Durell and most Greeks bears the characteristics of ancient Greek  
> Gods.  The Cypriot character is relatively unknown to Durrell and  
> hence he finds it difficult to attribute the same mystical  
> characteristics to Cypriots who are caught up in a bitter struggle  
> regarding the future of the island. Faced with a barren and hot  
> geography and people entangled in an intercommunal struggle as well  
> as a struggle against the British, there is not much for Durell`s  
> imagination. Even if he makes some allussions to the Greek  
> character, the Greek Cypriots are hardly the archetypical Greek.  
> Having no special interest in Turkish history, his understanding of  
> the Turkish Cypriot characteristics is even less. At the end  
> Cypriots, both Turkish and Greek are defined as sharing an  
> `idleness` common to the island.  Given the historical context  
> within which Durell wrote Bitter Lemons, I  have the impression that  
> Durell was more concerned with finding a way to reconcile phil- 
> Hellen inclinations with his loyalty to the British administration  
> than remaining true to the national characteristics of the  
> protagonists.
> Ozlem

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