On 25 May, Colenso Books & the Delos Press published a further collection of poems by Lawrence Durrell, entitled The Fruitful Discontent of the Word.
Edited by Peter Baldwin, the collection includes poems from Durrell’s later works, Sicilian Carousel and Caesar’s Vast Ghost as well as from the 1969 collection Spirit of Place and from the Avignon Quintet. The poems from these four works have never been available separately before.
Download a flyer about the new collection, including details of how to obtain it, here —> Fruitful Discontent A4 flyer. Or you can email Colenso direct on colensobooks <at> gmail dot com.
I’ve been meaning to write a review of Michael Haag’s book, published last year to coincide with the very popular ITV TV series The Durrells, but life got in the way. Today, I came across Kathryn Hughes’ rather vitriolic review in The Guardian, posted almost a year ago, so I thought that by way of my own review I would simply address some of the points that Kathryn raises in her piece. Continue reading
Margo’s granddaughter, Tracy Breeze, left a comment on my earlier post, Whatever Happened To Margo?, with details about Margo’s children and also about Leslie’s son Tony. I contacted Tracy and asked her if she would be OK with my posting her comment here as a main post, as I know that many readers would be very interested in it — and this way it is more visible. The original post about Margo does get a lot of traffic and I do also get emails asking for updates! Anyway, Tracy kindly agreed — and also shared these photos with me, which she has given permission to use. (Please note that the photos are all copyright to Tracy Breeze, they are watermarked accordingly.)
I hope that Margo’s book about her life working on Greek ships will be published, as I am sure it will be extremely entertaining.
Leslie’s son Tony lives in the US – he kept in contact with Margo Durrell throughout his life until she died in 2009.
Margo’s first son, Gerry Breeze lives in Bournemouth. He is highly respected in the martial arts world and was teaching karate until ill health late 2016. Gerry is living and married to his third wife Sheila Breeze. His children Tracy Breeze, Sarah Breeze, Nick Breeze, Martin Breeze, Lawrence Breeze and Laura Breeze and has many grandchildren.
Margo’s second son Nick Breeze also lives in Bournemouth and the two brothers see each other often. Nick is married to his second wife Jan Breeze and he has two sons Daniel Breeze and Christopher Breeze.
I, Tracy Breeze published my Nan, Margo Duncan (Breeze/Durrell) book which is now out of print but I’m happy to say Penguin are publishing again in 2018. She has another unpublished book about her adventures working on a Greek ships travelling the Carribbean when she was 50 which I hope to get into print.
Margo was the best grandma anyone could ever wish for and a huge influence on our lives. Her zest, passion and fun for life never allowed for a dull day, she was more than amazing and much missed.
AT RHODES (LAWRENCE DURRELL)
Anonymous hand, record one afternoon,
In May, some time before the fig-leaf:
Boats lying idle in the sky, a town
Thrown as on a screen of watered silk,
Lying on its side, reddish and soluble,
A sheet of glass leading down into the sea . . .
Down here an idle boy catches a cicada:
Imprisons it, laughing, in his sister’s cloak
In whose warm folds the silly creature sings.
Shape of boats, body of a young girl, cicada,
Conspire and join each other here,
In twelve sad lines against the dark.
The Villa Ambron, where Lawrence Durrell lived and worked in Alexandria, is in a deplorable state according to this Facebook post by Ahmed Essam.
The terrible state of the historic villa has also been noticed by political activist Essam Fathallah, who has called for action to save the city of Alexandria and its heritage, as Egyptian outlet Al Youm 7 reports.
Durrell was not the only artist to live in the villa — Egyptian painters Effat Nagy and Saad al-Khadem also resided there.
The Huffington Post has reprinted a letter from P.G. Wodehouse to Lawrence Durrell, in which the former explains how Jeeves came into being. Durrell was a great admirer of Wodehouse.
New York artist L.C. Armstrong has named the British novelist Lawrence Durrell as an influence on her work, citing his quote, “We are all children of our own landscape.”
An exhibition of recent work by Armstrong, Central Park Paintings, will open at the Marlborough Gallery in New York on February 13 and continue through March 16, 2013.
From Lawrence Durrell in conversation with Igor Pomerantsev. The full interview can be read here.
I’d recommend heading over to Michael Haag’s blog here and reading his new post on Russian editions of the Alexandria Quartet, where he has shared has some lovely pictures of the covers as well as background on the Quartet in the former USSR.
Since we’re talking about the elder Durrell in Russia, Russian-speakers may be interested to read/watch this interesting round table chat on Durrell and the Alexandria Quartet from Radio Svoboda in 2011, at the time of the Egyptian Revolution.
I’ve translated a very small selection of interesting parts of the discussion below, which includes a comparison of Alexandria and Odessa!
Lawrence Durrell was shortlisted for the 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature, alongside Robert Graves and John Steinbeck; however the judges ultimately chose Steinbeck, according to recently-opened archives in Sweden.