Bitter lemons by Lawrence Durrell

IMG_6133Set in Bellapais, Cyprus. Reviewed on 2018/03: https://www.instagram.com/p/BgKuzlEDp4H/

I had a chat with a dear #cypriot friend of mine about this book. She was appalled I was even considering reading it. I’m not that surprised given the fact she is anti-British, anti-Greek, anti-Turkish, anti-instagram, and also post-everything. She’s fun and complicated! Whereas #durrell is literally a parody of the self-proclaimed enlightened and cultured #british men of the time (and still to this day?). Despite his master of the #greeklanguage and all his international travels, he’s absolutely condescending to “locals” and just plain patronizing. However I personally thought that the clash between his arguably “progressive” and “unbiased” observations, opinions and remarks, and what ends up happening to him make this book hilarious, a great read and conducive to some historical woolgathering. I can’t judge my friend or anyone feeling like her. It makes me think of me reading nazi-lover Knut Hamsun and realizing that he would have supported exterminating me and everyone I know at least twice, one for being a Jew and two for being gay. I still think Hamsun’s books are an incomparable addition to world literature. Does it bother me personally that Hamsun was such a Nazi lover? Yes, without a doubt. Have I read and enjoyed his stories? Absolutely. (Oh lord! What’s with me asking and answering my own questions? I’m turning into my mother! 😂🤦🏽‍♂️👵🏻) All this to say that if you manage to be honest with yourself and place the story/writer in his period, I’d #highlyrecommend you to give #bitterlemons a chance. #lawrencedurrell#cyprus #autobiographical #travelwriting#duffcooperprize #bellapais #enosis#Ένωσις #Μπελαπάις #Κερύνεια #nicosia#Λευκωσία #retirement #british

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