[ilds] Bowker and MacNiven Biographies

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Sun Jan 30 10:26:15 PST 2011

Hi Rony,

Bowker had an unfortunate habit of relying on Durrell's fiction for 
autobiographical information -- this is particularly true of his Indian 
childhood and /Pied Piper of Lovers/.  If you're interested in Durrell's 
more candid presentation of mother and father figures, /Pied Piper of 
Lovers/ is fiction, but he shows more there than in any other novel.

For what it's worth, MacNiven (and I fear any biographer) does draw on 
Durrell's fiction for biographical information as well, just not as 
much.  That creates problems, though I'm not sure how any Durrell 
biographer could avoid it.


On 30/01/11 2:22 AM, Rony Alfandary wrote:
> Hello all,
> I am current reading them both simultaneously. there are narked
> difference - MacNiven is indeed full of detail and excellent source for
> further research. there are many discrepancies - for instance, when did
> Durrell begin St Joseph's? when he was six (Bowker) or Nine (MacNiven)?
> it is of some interest to me as i am working on the theme of Durrell's
> resentment towards his parents vis-a-vis this first exile.
> Rony
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