[ilds] Fermor and Durrell

William Apt billyapt at gmail.com
Sat Jun 14 04:54:43 PDT 2014


Interesting observations, David, and probably quite accurate. But Fermor, as an adult, seemed to have an propensity for physical altercations: outright brawling, fist fighting, which I find disturbing, and which is not revealed by his books, but rather by his correspondence with Debo Devonshire and by the bio. From what dark side does that originate? 

WILLIAM APT
Attorney at Law
812 San Antonio St, Ste 401
Austin TX 78701
512/708-8300
512/708-8011 FAX

> On Jun 13, 2014, at 10:44 PM, "Denise Tart & David Green" <dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
> 
>  
> I have been sitting for some time, looking at the browning leaves against the grey sky and it came to me that Leigh Fermor, who was a vast, life force character, wrote the way he was as a person; the outer man was the writing. Paddy stopped writing when he was too old to live that outer life (stay with me here). Durrell did not write the way he outwardly  appeared - ebullient, life of the party etc, ladies man, but his writing comes from, as Bowker so truly states, from the darker self, a different Durrell; gothic, tunnels of darkness (think the bat cave story that Fermor relates) leading some times to sunlit uplands (the Dark Labyrinth) or often not (Av Q) - themes of suicide, wounded sex and so forth
>  
> the Darkness of Durrell's self hit some wives, bullied a daughter and her friends  but this does appear his fiction, carefully constructed. I see often a quiet, brooding man, at his desk at 4 am, maybe hung-over, coming to terms with the mess of life but twisting it all into a labyrinthine construct - especially in the big books, but the island ones as well in the sense that, though full of inexpressible charm, they are quiet reflective and very poetic pieces, especially Prospero's and Venus; in Cyprus of course the lemons turn bitter indeed. I understand why Lazza wanted to be remembered as a poet (well, he said this) because he is, as Shakespeare was, a poet in prose. Paddy Fermor comes across as a restless soul on good terms with himself and the world. Larry, but contrast, a boon companion but someone who never came to terms with himself (his demons if you like) and writing and Buddhism and alcohol were all ways of dealing with this.
>  
> I read in Artemis Cooper's biography that Fermor got involved in a great drunken brawl one Christmas in Ireland where even the women got involved. Fermor got knocked out, had his head cut open by a woman's ring fingered punch, went to hospital and in true upper class style, thought nothing of it. One cannot imagine this happening to Larry - the arm chair travel writer whose violence seems to have extended to people (women) weaker than himself.
>  
> None of this detracts from my view of Larry. He said he was not really a travel writer but lived in places and wrote about them. Years ago I lived in Maine USA and spent most of my time there when some thought I should be 'seeing the USA' - but I know Maine - there are streams and lakes and people and customs and ways of speaking and jokes and beers that I will never forget and also a 1968 Pontiac Catalina 6.6 litre V8 coupe convertable.
>  
> Cooper's book on Fermor is a good read and Larry crops up a few times.
>  
> David
> 16 William Street
> Marrickville NSW 2204
> Australia
> +61 2 9564 6165
> 0412 707 625
> www.denisetart.com.au
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/ilds/attachments/20140614/ac5c77bb/attachment.html>


More information about the ILDS mailing list