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
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.
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.
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!