Provence, where Lawrence Durrell has lived for 30 years, is the motif of this book. It offers the traveller intriguing things they will not find elsewhere and preserves memories and cameos of the Midi and its people. The book aims to capture the essential spirit of the land and those of its warriors, historians, philosophers and poets. The Romans gave form to Provence and Durrell looks at the road systems, the Pont du Gard, the Maison Carree, the arenas, theatres, arches, bridges, memorials and towns. There are chapters on the author's enthusiasms such as bullfighting, the mediaeval Courts of Love and the troubadours, the meals and strange drinks, burial customs, coins and fountains and the favours of Cunegonde. 19 of the author's poem are included.
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Lawrence Durrell was born in 1912 in India. He attended the Jesuit College at Darjeeling and St Edmund's School, Canterbury. His first literary work, The Black Book, appeared in Paris in 1938. His first collection of poems, A Private Country, was published in 1943, followed by the three Island books: Prospero's Cell, Reflections on a Marine Venus, about Rhodes, and Bitter Lemons, his account of life in Cyprus. Durrell's wartime sojourn in Egypt led to his masterpiece, The Alexandria Quartet, which he completed in southern France where he settled permanently in 1957. Between the Quartet and The Avignon Quintet he wrote the two-decker Tunc and Nunquam. His oeuvre includes plays, a book of criticism, translations, travel writing, and humorous stories about the diplomatic corps. Caesar's Vast Ghost, his reflections on the history and culture of Provence, including a late flowering of poems, appeared a few days before his death in Sommieres in 1990.From Library Journal:
The noted novelist's sixth travel book explores the history and culture of Provence, where he has lived for more than three decades. Although not quite on the same level as Bitter Lemons (Dutton, 1959), which focused on the political tensions over Cyprus in the 1950s, Vast Ghost has all the characteristics of Durrell's travel books: brilliant descriptive passages, esoteric theories on love and culture, colorful local characters, and bizarre sexual escapades. (The book concludes with the author escorting a "Latex doll of great beauty" to a water party on the Rhone.) Durrell won't win over any converts, but those who enjoyed his previous travel writings won't be disappointed either.
- Donald P. Kaczvinsky, Louisiana Tech Univ., Ruston
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción U.S.A.: Faber & Faber, 1990. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. 9114 Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng. Nº de ref. de la librería X-159-C
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