[ilds] The Cretan Connection

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Mon Jun 30 08:36:55 PDT 2014


RP,

Yes.  Mountolive's father is an expert in Pali texts.  He lives in a monastery outside Madras (now Chennai in southeastern India).  All this in the Dewford Mallows episode in Mountolive.  Why Pali?  Pali is a Sanskrit dialect, which some scholars believe was the original language of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha.  It is also the dialect of the Thervada school of Buddhism, the oldest, which emphasizes liberation through meditation and monastic discipline.  Also, as you rightly point out, "we all had a distant father, didn't we?"  Well, I certainly did, and there's a whole lot of literature on the subject.  More importantly is the relevance to LGD.  Recall that Siddhartha might be the original absent father, for the legend is that around the age of 28 he leaves his wife and son and begins the search of enlightenment.  Which he finds.  Isn't this Durrell's own path (forget his dubious success) or at least the one he mythologizes?  Too much analysis?  I don't think so.  Durrell doesn't drop casual allusion.

Bruce





On Jun 30, 2014, at 2:08 AM, Richard Pine <rpinecorfu at yahoo.com> wrote:

> 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?
> RP
> 
> 
> 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.
> 
> Bruce
> 
>  
> 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. 
> 
> WILLIAM APT
> Attorney at Law
> 812 San Antonio St, Ste 401
> Austin TX 78701
> 512/708-8300
> 512/708-8011 FAX
> 
> 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.
>  
> David
> 16 William Street
> Marrickville NSW 2204
> +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
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
> 
> 
> _______________________________________________
> 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/20140630/31700fb7/attachment.html>


More information about the ILDS mailing list