[ilds] The Cretan Connection

Richard Pine rpinecorfu at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 30 02:08:56 PDT 2014

Durrell also claimed to have a relative in India who, like Mountolive's father, was an expert in Indian (Pali?) texts (sorry for vagueness, am in transit) which I had always thought, until you raised the PLFpossibility, was LD's link to the idea of the 'distant' father. We all had a distant father, didn't we?

On Saturday, June 28, 2014 9:32 PM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:

Correct.  Apparently Durrell took other people's stories and used them for his own purposes.  Nothing wrong with that, as long as one is writing fiction.  Non-fiction is another matter.  Leigh Fermor's story of his father surely resonated with Durrell's own experiences with his father, who died in India and "abandoned" him.  Moutolive's father does abandon his wife and son and goes off to India to live and work in a monastery.  This coincides nicely with Durrell oft-stated desire to find some religious haven in his mythical Tibet.  Durrell never returned to India.  Why?  I suspect because he wanted to keep the myth of India and Tibet just that — a myth.



On Jun 28, 2014, at 10:25 AM, William Apt <billyapt at gmail.com> wrote:

I noticed few years ago the striking similarity between LD's description of Montolive's absentee father in India and Patrick Leigh Fermor's own experience: his father, too, remained in India apart from the mother. Both fathers were mysterious, exotic characters, wondered over by the abandoned sons. Unlike LD's experience, however, Montolive's father and PLF's father had no longing to return to England and, as I recall, never did return, permanently. So, while this is speculation on my part, it may be yet another example of LG borrowing from the life story of another. 

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On Jun 27, 2014, at 8:38 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.


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