[ilds] The Cretan Connection

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Sat Jun 28 08:30:34 PDT 2014


Durrell is a great storyteller, one of his tremendous gifts.  But, as you point out, his source material often seems to have been other people's stories — not his own travels and experiences.  This is quite evident in The Greek Islands (1978).  The section on Crete appears to have been largely invented or borrowed.  His diversions, however, are all his own — note the criticism of "monotheism and monosexuality" on p. 64 of Islands.


On Jun 27, 2014, at 6:38 PM, Denise Tart & David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:

> Reading Artemis Coopers story of PLF's time on Crete during the war, one can see where LGD got much his stuff for Dark Labyrinth: the British officer traumatized by having to kill a captive German soldier, the mountainous uplands, the caves that beasts fell into and left their bones. He must have read Paddy's accounts and of course saw him at times during time in Egypt. Dark Labyrinth came out before any of Paddy's books (1947) so I guess, for an emerging author and press officer with contacts, including Paddy, the stories of the day were up for grabs, but the way Larry works other people's stuff into his own material is uncanny. When I read of PLFs adventures on Crete, including the famous capture of the German General, I felt as if I had read it before...I had in way.
> Dark Labyrinth is an underrated work. Durrell's chapter on Crete in the Greek Islands is also well worth a read. No English writer writes about Greece as he does, but I am very keen to read some Leigh Fermor now.
> David
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