Posted by: gillarbuthnott | July 12, 2013

Gerald, Lawrence and Me.

Lovely%20NissakiI know it’s been a bit quiet here lately. That’s because I’ve been on holiday. I spent a week with my family in Corfu, in a tiny village called Nissaki, close to where the Durrell family lived during their time on the island.

This is the beach, and the water really is that clear. The highlight was seeing an octopus swim by in the dark; like a bald head with little legs, glowing under the moonlight. Quite extraordinary.

I thought I’d better do a bit of Durrell reading while I was there, so I re-read Prospero’s Cell by Lawrence Durrell and My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. They do paint very different pictures of life on the island: with Lawrence it’s all deep thoughts and tortured artists, and with Gerald it’s a sequence of marauding animals disturbing his eccentric family.

What’s really bizarre though, is that although they were all on Corfu at the same time, Lawrence makes no mention at all of any of his  family except a couple of glancing references to his brother Leslie, while Gerald makes it sound as though ‘Larry’ was living with them, when in fact he was in a separate house, with a wife who isn’t referred to at all!

There are also a couple of Corfiot characters who appear in both books, but are drawn completely differently. Fascinating.


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