Buy Bitter Lemons of Cyprus Main by Lawrence Durrell (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible. Bitter Lemons of Cyprus is Lawrence Durrell’s unique account of his time in Cyprus, during the s Enosis movement for freedom of the. On a Mediterranean island divided, a man finds peace in a time of perilous unrest in this stunning memoirIn , as the British Empire relaxes its grip upon the.

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He speaks Greek fluently; he has a wide knowledge of modern Greek history, politics and literature; he has lived in continental Greece and has spent many years in other Greek islands. I thought that would be enough, but given the praise and high average ratings here, more needs to be said.

Forty years ago, I openly voiced my agreement with Durrell. A thousand differing circumstances contribute to them, few of them willed or determined by the will–whatever we may think. Durrell quotes the chronicler Calepio: He is a memorable lxwrence. Durell is best known as the author of the Alexandria Quartet, a series of sensuous, dream-like books about life just before World War II in that coastal Egyptian city.

But at the end of the day, he’s a repulsive reactionary, a proud imperialist, and even though he’s smart enough to see all the contradictions of the colonial regime in Cyprus — the deliberate underdevelopment, the dimwitted little-Englander officials, the way repressive measures invariably give credibility to the anticolonial fighters, an honest respect for the idealism of the Cypriot youth who want freedom lemon he still can’t escape the notion that an abstract empire is the best steward of his much-adored classical civilization, and like his mentor T.

But this is the s, and the entire island is about to erupt into chaos.

Bitter Lemons Of Cyprus by Lawrence Durrell – Canongate Books

The descriptions of nature are beautiful, but his views on Cypriots a bit biased. View all 6 comments.

Characterization of the locals th British writer and poet witnesses firsthand how empires fail. In the end though it is a very fine read, at times wonderfully descriptive and very interesting. Eschewing politics, it says more about them than all our leading articles. Thanks for telling us about the problem.


Then there’s the problem of the Turkish population. This travelogue ‘completes a trilogy of island books’ for the author. I cannot imagine how he did not. Fortunately there is more to this classic of travel writing than irritating portraits of the locals. Durrell is politically conservative, and a supporter of the British Empire — an empire still largely lekons indespite the recent loss of India.

If you want to dig deep into what has led butter modern Cyprus, this is a vividly personal account of those events that culminated in the division of the durrfll, not to mention the incredible sadness Durrell felt when politics finally silenced the cries of ‘kopiaste’ from the Cypriot villagers he had come to regard with such affection. He seems to concentrate on ideas rather than a sequence of actions or events. And from it pours scorn for the Cyprus the author chose to settle in. It was sad then; it’s sad now.

Durrell can take a breather to add random notes about sunsets in the book, but he can’t be bothered to provide details on this constitution, even in an official capacity.

He says he didn’t move to Athens instead lawrrnce of the costs. His work is shaped with a never-failing sense of aesthetics. If you want to hear all about Cyprus, well this is the book for you.

Bitter Lemons of Cyprus by Lawrence Durrell

A description of his time spent in Cyprus during “Enosis”, Greek Cypriots demand for union with mainland Greece, this made fascinating reading.

I thought that would b I bought this because I enjoyed his little brother’s account of life in Greece very much.

Durrell claims to be for the most part uninterested in the sordid world of politics, but is dragged into it, working for the British government and even seeing an assassination scare. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Jan 29, Traveling Diva rated it it was amazing Shelves: Then, in keeping with brief references in his little brother’s book, he picks a high point in his house to slowly eat grapes and crack the whip on Greek workmen who may be lingering to tell the stories he loves so much.

He was fascinated by the Mediterranean idyll and unique place, lqwrence its cultural, archaeological, classical and mythological appeal and charm, he was attracted by its culture, its nature, its climate, its past, by durrrll character of land, crossroad between East and West, where elements and philosophies of both West and East found their equilibrium. Bitter Lemons, and have had to limit my purview accordingly.


It introduced me to the cultural clash between Greeks and Turks. Although the first paragraphs of the book are quite purple, it seemed to promise to deliver the goods on stereotyping Cypriot Greeks, if only, it turns out, because Lawrence Durrell is so British.

Let’s be political for a little while.

Bitter Lemons of Cyprus

Lawrence Durrell recounts his time in the mids in Cyprus – bitter island divided by religion and turmoil, yet so similar across the spectrum. I am born of Greek Cypriot parents and have visited Cyprus many times over during my childhood and as an adult with children of my own. One of the first schools in Cyprus open in under Ottoman rule in the capital, Nicosia, the Pancyprian Gymnasium. Oct 09, V. Published July 3rd by Faber and Faber first published The latter part of his stay in Cyprus coincided with the rise in violence as the Cypriot struggle for independence from Britain and union with Greece, and the second half of the book, which I thought was both darker and better than the first half, describes the gradual descent from normality into chaos.

Bitter Lemons Of Cyprus

The medieval ruins still dot the landscape, the flowers still flower, and the dazzling sun still shines over the cerulean sea. Having said that, this story was an engaging tale of life so far removed as to be in a galaxy far, far away. He recounts bjtter time living in Cyprus when the locals — who usually come across in his writing as childlike marvels, unsophisticated and charmingly quaint — chafed under and then violently opposed foreign British rule. Greco-Roman antiquities and learning survived through the ages in Byzantium because Byzantium had preserved the heritage of the ancient world.