[ilds] What next? Your post of 17 April 2016

Panaiotis Gerontopoulos pan.gero at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 19 02:34:17 PDT 2016

   Dear Mr. Whitewine, 
for offering the chance to clear up a pun done on an assertion made in
this listserv about a professor's need to use different languages speaking
to his students or to his grocer. I believe that we should always use one and
as simple as possible language. Against this background that I defined myself a ‘grocer’.
   I am a retired materials scientist and in that capacity I spent some years ago a short spell at ANSTO, contributing to their SYNROC project
aimed to a safer immobilization of nuclear wastes. I rent a hotel room in Sydney and travelled back and
forth to Lucas Heights in company of a young Turk colleague. We become good friends,
had great fun in the laboratory calling its other budalà (the Turkish word for sloppy) for technical slip-ups, and listened
Turkish and Greek songs during the transits. In spite of the British divide and imperat policy in
Cyprus, called by the Anglophile George Seferis Monkeys Tricks, Turks and Greeks can still be friendly.

   The non-knowledge of the
Cyprus Crisis and other related issues by the ‘general reader of Durrell’s
works and his biographies’ reminds me of Roidis’ conclusion at the end of his beautiful historical introduction to the legend of the ‘papa fœmina’ discarded by L.D. in
Pope Joan as pure ‘theological polemic’

this point I leave each one to believe whatever he wishes. But I doubt very
much if those who remain unconvinced can find more           solid pretexts for not
believing than those uttered by a vicar choral who considered apocryphal the
leprosy of Constantine the Great        because he could not find it mentioned in the

   The ‘vicar choral’ in our case,
is the Durrellian who tries to understand the Cyprus Crisis limiting obstinably his search
to ‘Bitter Lemons’ and LD’s biographies written by other Durrellians. If not,
how to explain the deafening silence of this listserv, regarding the writings
of Charles Foley and other outsiders  or even LD’s admissions contained in the interview
with the Aegean Review in the autumn of 1987 and in the article ‘Must the
Lemons Remain Bitter’ (New York Times, August 23, 1974). Apart of confusing the
colonels’ putsch to overthrow Archbishop Makarios, ‘as a manifestation of the
Greek desire for enosis’ (sic!) he extolls ‘the astute and deft governorship of
the Archbishop who for a long period of time had been riding the tiger of
enosis as nobody else could’. 

Note that in the NYT
article LD is speaking of the same Archbishop that during the ‘Cyprus Emergency’
of 20 years before called privately Black-Mak writing to Austen Harrison on
December 1954

the work in hand is growing daily. We have really dented the Archbishop’s
stove-pipe hat with one or two of our custard pies and if only Labour doesn’t
come in and the Tories don’t wobble we may get through the next round all-right
(David Roessel, Deus Loci NS3 1994, p 19)

David Roessel notes on
this in the next page: ‘Durrell’s comment is most revealing about how involved he
was in defending the British position’

I would say that LD was
not as you put it your post ‘an outsider seeing things more clearly than the
locals’. All the contrary, considering that this was a private letter to British
settler not foreseen by any contractual obligations towards to ‘an unpopular
imperial administration’ 

Panayotis Gerontopoulos

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