[ilds] Is D Durrell?

Anna Lillios anna at ucf.edu
Wed Jul 23 09:24:04 PDT 2014

Two notes:

1)  PROSPERO'S CELL can be considered in the genre of travel books written by British travelers to Greece, beginning with Lord Byron.  As a grad. student I read around 50 of these travelogues and found that the authors follow a pattern: there's a search for spiritual illumination among classical landscapes, criticism of local Greeks for not living up their literary forebears, use of classical allusions and metaphors, etc.  In a sense, PROSPERO'S CELL goes against this grain, in that Durrell appreciated the contemporary citizens of Greece and their culture.

2)  Years ago (maybe in 1988), I accompanied Ian and Susan as they searched for traces of Durrell's life in Corfu.  We met relatives of the aristocratic family members, including the Palatianos, with whom Durrell hobnobbed in Corfu town and visited a house that "Count D" possibly inhabited.  In his biography of Durrell, Ian claims that Count D was "not based on a single individual, but is apparently a composite character grounded on several of Larry's Corfiote friends, despite the fact that Larry would identify the original of the Count to Henry Miller as his old friend Dr. Palatiano" (MacNiven 293) [LD to HM, c. October 1945, DML 186].  Durrell originally labeled the Count as "C" in one draft and then changed his name to "D" in the final.  Palatiano's first name was Constantine.


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