In Bitter Lemons, Durrell tells the perceptive, often humorous, story of his experiences on Cyprus between 1953 and 1956-first as a visitor, then as a householder and teacher, and finally as Press Advisor to a government coping with armed rebellion. Here are unforgettable pictures of the sunlit villages and people, the ancient buildings, mountains and sea-and the somber political tragedy that finally engulfed the island.
Bitter Lemons 1 csillagozás
Lawrence Durrell: Bitter Lemons of Cyprus címmel is megjelent.
Eredeti megjelenés éve: 1957
He threw up the great jut of his chin squarely and roared: “And what do you reply to me, Englishman? What do you think sitting there in shame?”
“I think of my brother” I said coolly.
“Your brother?” he said, caught slightly off his guard by this diversion which had just occurred to me.
“My brother. He died at Thermopylae, fighting beside the Greeks.”
This was a complete lie, of course, for my brother, to the best of my knowledge, was squatting in some African swamp collecting animals for the European zoos. I put on an air of dejection.
But his was not really a tavern so much as a wholesale wine-shop with a few chairs for customers who became too argumentative or bibulous to leave: it was understood that before buying a liter of wine one had the right to sample the contents of each and every butt which lined the back wall of the cave. Insensibly samplers turned into tavern-clients, for it is always difficult to make up one’s mind in a hurry, and sometimes it might be necessary to have as many as three or four whacks at a cask before one was sure about it. Hence a few chairs and tables set about for the use of the undecided.
…and here our guide disappeared round a corner, drawing from his breast an iron key the size of a man’s forearm. We scrambled after him and came upon the house, a large box-like house in the Turkish-Cypriot mode, with huge carved doors made for some forgotten race of giants and their oxen.
“Don’t,” he pleaded in anguish. “Don’t tell me any more. They are mad. I can’t take it. First they throw a bomb, then they want to pass their School Cert., and I’m a Fascist because they can’t!” He moaned and rocked from side to side. “It’s like being a male nurse in an institution. Are all the Greeks as mad as this lot?”
The answer, of course, was yes.
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