Prospero's cell: a guide to the landscape and manners of the island of Corcyra
Lawrence Durrell composed Propero's Cell as if it were a journal or diary of a year and a half on the island of Corfu, and he prefaced his statement of poetic intent by a casual comment, "I am making no attempt to control all this material." Of course he really is, for this is a carefully plotted and thought-out reminiscence that covers a period from early spring to harves...more
In the morning you wake ...more
Now that I am bet ...more
They lived a crazy island life with eccentric locals and writers dropping by—people like Freya S ...more
This is seductive travel writing at its finest.
Particularly well done is the balance between descriptive prose and historical detail in order to bring the island to life out of a colourful past and into an uncertain present. The final note is a bitter sweet one, layered with nostalgia...
This book offers little more than some anekdotes on manners, lore and landscape. Some nice chapters, but not the book on Greece I thought it could be.
"It is April and we have taken an old fisherman's house in the extreme north of the island Kalamai. Ten sea-m ...more
Durrell writes lyrical, dense, rhythmic, imaginative prose. You either fall in love with it or you don’t. In the passage below, he writes crystalline, unconventional fragments about the sea.
"The sea’s curious workmanship: bottle-green glass sucked s ...more
Wir waren auf Korfu (2016), bevor ich dieses Buch las. Auch wir begeisterten uns für ...more
"Presently the carbide lamp is lit and the whole miraculous underworld of the lagoon bursts into a hollow bloom--it is like the soft beautiful incandescence of a gas-mantle lighting. Transformed, like figures in a miracle, we gaze d ...more
His mother and younger siblings rented a house on Corfu while he was there, although Lawrence does not mention them. Kid brother Gerald penned a different view of the island, less beautifully written but very am ...more
Lawrence Durrell includes many humorous anecdotes of his own but his book is very poignant for having been written in Alexandria soon after he and his wife escaped from the Italian occupation of Corfu.
Some of the characters familiar from My Family and Other Animals are present in Prospero's Cell - including Spiro "Americanos" and Theodore Stephanides.
For me it was the epilogue after the ravages of war that made sense of the whole book. A sadness for times lost and never to be re-found. It had the same intense pain as Cider with Rosie.