[ilds] Landscape with Olive Trees

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Thu Oct 15 13:28:39 PDT 2009

In the light of the recent debate, it maybe worth visting the chapter mentioned above in Landscape with Oive Trees from Prospero's Cell.

If, as Bruce suggests, Durrell's characters are all aspects of himself, then we should note the following in the context of his writing style.

Zarian, your articles when they are collected in a book will present a ferocious and lopsided account of an an enchanted island... You will omit the fact that the communications are bad and that all Greeks are liars, and that the fleas in summer are intolerable. It will not be a true picture - but what a picture it will be.....
'And I?' I say. 'What sort of picture will I present of Prospero's Island?'

'It is difficult to say,' says the Count. 'A portrait inexact in detail, containing bright splinters of landscape, written out roughly, as if to get rid of something which was troubling the optic nerves...'
(Prospero's Cell pp 115, 116)

I see this in much of Durrell's work: the angst, the desire to get rid of something troubling, the roughness even. Explanation or justification. Quelle maleur!


PS Charles, Dr Durrell is not the only Australian on this list. Marrickville is a part of Sydney already, although I do not have a salubrious office overlooking our world renown harbour as Dr D does.

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