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Conditions of Use

All comments regarding the life and work of Lawrence Durrell are welcome. Say whatever you like, however you like. Comments are not censored, but they reflect the views of the commentator and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the administrator nor anyone else on this blog. All comments are copyrighted and belong to the blog. Fair use of the blog's material requires proper attribution both to the blog and to the commentator.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

David Green on Hemingway and Durrell

"All good books have one thing in common; they are truer than if they had really happened, and after you've read one of them you will feel that all that happened, happened to you and then it belongs to you forever:  the happiness and unhappiness, good and evil, ecstasy and sorrow, the food, wine, beds, people and the weather.  If you can give that to your readers, then you're a writer.  That's what I was trying to give them in For Whom the Bell Tolls."

— Ernest Hemingway (quoted in Papa Hemingway [1966] by A. E. Hotchner)

Now I would say the old hem hit home with this one.  It is certainly how I feel about some of Durrell's books, especially the island books.  For me Corfu is Prospero's Cell [1945] and when I went there in 1985 it was as the book said.  That was the "dark crystal" through which I saw the island.  So next year I hit Cyprus and Rhodes through the lenses of Bitter Lemons [1957] and Reflections on a Marine Venus [1953], then onto Sicily and Sicilian Carousel [1977], book in hand.  Then we fetch up in Provence with Caesar's Vast Ghost [1990].  I'll be taking pictures and writing stuff along the way.  RW, see you on Milos?


an afternoon at Kelly's I think

1 comment:

  1. David, one interesting contrast between Hemingway and Durrell has to do with their respective notions of "Truth." EH can say, "[Good books] are truer than if they had really happened." But Durrell abhors "Truth" and denies its existence. EH's statement certainly applies to Durrell's island books, but Durrell wouldn't have said anything is "truer" than anything else, or so I think. Hemingway believed in being true, that is, honest. Durrell didn't (and his life proves that!). — BR