Ken Gammage Ken.Gammage at directed.com
Sat Feb 26 16:53:36 PST 2011

According to Wikipedia, Fermor just turned 96 years old – happy birthday! I have a copy of Paris Review 165 (Spring 2003) with “A Visit with Patrick Leigh Fermor” by Ben Downing which has this quote on page 201:

“One close bond between us was our shared friendship with Lawrence Durrell. Like Katsimbalis, he had a wonderfully fluent and inventive gift of speech – never an ‘er’ or a ‘sort of.’ The sentences came pouring out as though already composed in detail, and they were always infectiously spirited and original. He seemed to pump new oxygen into the air. He could swim as fast as a dolphin and play any instrument from a grand piano to an ocarina. He knew and loved the Greeks and they loved him.”

-- Ken

From: ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca [ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca] On Behalf Of William Apt [billyapt at gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2011 9:38 AM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca

Dear all:

Patrick Leigh Fermor's father served the Raj as a geologist and spent most of his adult life in India.  After he and Leigh Fermor's mother separated when Leigh Fermor was still a small child, she settled in provincial England with Leigh Fermor and his sister (or sisters).  He rarely saw his father again after that.

In his writings, Leigh Fermor seems to recall more about his father's stuff  - butterfly nets, specimen glasses, geology hammers, jackets, boots - than about his father.

Consider this:  in Montolive, Montolive's father is long absent, having abandoned Montolive as a small child, deciding to stay and spend the remainder of his life in India as a scholar while he and his mother settle in provincial England.  What Montolive recalls of his little known father is defined by his belongings - objects of curiosity - at his mother's house.

Leigh Fermor and LD were friends, beginning with their acquaintance in Egypt prior to the writing of the Quartet.  Is it not plausible that Leigh Fermor's experience could likely constitute the basis for Montolive's own paternal experience?


PS:  Forgive me if some has already thought of this!  Don't forget:  I'm an amateur...  But since Leigh Fermor is still living, perhaps the      question should be put to him?

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