[ilds] Is D Durrell?

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Wed Jul 23 19:36:48 PDT 2014


David Roessel's /In Byron's Shadow/ is an excellent unraveling of the 
"against the grain" Anna refers to.

On 2014-07-23, 12:25 PM, Kennedy Gammage wrote:
> No one is going to argue with Anna. I feel that would be a grave mistake.
>
> If she read 50 books by Englishmen in Greece, I agree that this must be
> a bona fide genre in its own right.
>
> However - I still feel a distinction can be made between a book like A
> Time of Gifts by PLF versus Prospero's Cell. The former is a true
> travelogue, while the latter is...what it is.
>
> Cheers - Ken
>
>
> On Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 9:24 AM, Anna Lillios <anna at ucf.edu
> <mailto:anna at ucf.edu>> wrote:
>
>     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.
>
>           Anna
>


More information about the ILDS mailing list