Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Sat Feb 26 15:51:22 PST 2011


Indeed.  Entirely possible — that P. L. Fermor's father served as a model for Mountolive, Sr.  After all, Durrell and Fermor knew one another.  Others can comment on whether this connection has already appeared somewhere in print.  The deeper connection, however, i.e., why LGD was attracted to this theme of deliberate removal or disappearance, has already been discussed by Charles Sligh in his recent comment on Durrell's handling of "obscurity" or "posthumous" authorship in his writings.  I find his discussion true, provocative, and revealing.  I'll only add that I believe that Mountolive, Sr.'s exact whereabouts in the subcontinent is vague, intentional vague, I believe.  The old scholar is said to be translating Pali/Buddhist manuscripts in some unnamed monastery, and Pali, closely related to Sanskrit, is usually associated with what was then called Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).   That's another island, of course, and the importance of islands in Lawrence Durrell's mythology has come up for frequent discussion, most notably by David Green.


On Feb 25, 2011, at 9:38 AM, William Apt wrote:

> 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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