|Digital List Price:||$9.99|
Save $2.00 (20%)
The Lawrence Durrell Travel Reader Kindle Edition
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From the Publisher
Lawrence Durrell aboard his Boat
This photograph of Lawrence Durrell aboard his boat, the Van Norden, is taken from a negative discovered among his papers. The vessel is named after a character in Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. (Photograph held in the British Library’s modern manuscripts collection.)
Nancy and Lawrence Durrell
This photograph of Nancy and Lawrence Durrell was likely taken in Delphi, Greece, in late 1939. (Photo courtesy of Joanna Hodgkin and the Gerald Durrell Estate.)
A page from Durrell’s Notebook
A page from Durrell’s notebooks, or, as he called them, the 'quarry.' This page introduced his notes on the 'colour and narrative' of scenes in Justine. (Photo courtesy of the Lawrence Durrell Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.)
About the Author
- ASIN : B0085IN2UO
- Publisher : Open Road Media (June 12, 2012)
- Publication date : June 12, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 3139 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 420 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #493,992 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The first book, "Prospero's Cell" was written in the years preceding World War II. The setting for Shakespeare's "Tempest" is the Greek island of Corfu, argues one of the characters in this book, expounding on a deeply held belief of its author. The 'presiding genius' of Corfu, or as it was once called, Corcyra, is none other than Zeus Pantocrator.
Durrell's foreshadowing of that grim future cast his landscapes and dazzling Greek villages of Corfu into intense relief.
In his second book, war still clings like a gray film to the bright fabric of "Reflections of a Marine Venus," which was begun in 1945 and takes place on Rhodes. The ‘marine Venus' of the title is a statue which was found by sailors in their nets at the bottom of Rhodes harbor and which much appealed to Durrell, who thought of her as the 'presiding genius' of the place. He began this book while assigned to Rhodes as an information officer in 1945, and finally finished it in Belgrade in 1952 while working as a press attaché for the British Embassy.
In his third island book, "Bitter Lemons," the author moves away from World War II, and into his experiences dodging gunmen and bombs during the postwar 'unrest' on Cyprus, which was then a British protectorate.
Durrell's great obsession during his years on Cyprus was the purchase and restoration of an old Turkish house at Bellapaix. This is the best part of the book in spite of the stereotypical 'boisterous' Greeks and 'indolent' Turks. The author employs his best, most beautiful descriptions on his house, his village, and the surrounding territory.
The fourth book in the series, "Sicilian Carousel" was published almost two decades after "Bitter Lemons" and Durrell is a much more mellow writer--perhaps because of his retirement from various posts within the British Foreign Office. Or perhaps because no one was shooting at him on Sicily.
Martine, who was a friend of Durrell's on Cyprus ("Bitter Lemons") is a ghostly presence on Sicily, the largest and perhaps the most beautiful of the Mediterranean islands. She had tried to persuade Durrell to visit her in life. Instead, he brings her letters to Sicily and shares Martine's favorite places with her in death. He compares her "to a sea-bird who has floated out of sight" and spends the book trying to lay her ghost.
I had not yet read Durrell's collection of essays about Provence, his home during the last three decades of his life and was happy to find a few of them in this 'Travel Reader.' They are truly a delight, most especially his plumber's search for a wife in "Laura, a Portrait of Avignon."
Here is the table of contents, which I've annotated to include the titles of Durrell's four 'landscape' books:
SPIRIT OF PLACE
-- Landscape and Character
CORFU ("Prospero's Cell")
-- Divisions upon Greek
-- Ground Ionian Profiles
-- Landscape with Olive Trees
-- A Landmark Gone
-- Oil for the Saint; Return to Corfu
RHODES ("Reflections of a Marine Venus")
-- Of Paradise Terrestre
--The Little Summer of Saint Demetrius
-- The Three Lost Cities
CYPRUS ("Bitter Lemons")
-- How to Buy a House
--The Tree of Idleness
-- The Vanishing Landmarks
SICILY ("Sicilian Carousel")
-- In Praise of Fanatics
-- Laura, A Portrait of Avignon
-- Across Secret Provence
-- Old Mathieu
I find Durrell's fiction heavy-going, though I do know many people enjoy it, including my wife. But his travel writing is very accessible, beautifully lyrical, and really does invoke that spirir of place. I write a lot about Greece myself, and so have read a great number of books about Greece. Lawrence Durrell's are among the most enjoyable that there are, particularly the ones about Corfu and Rhodes. To get everything together in one collection like this is a real treat.