Book News

“Poetry Greece” re-published

Poetry Greece, which was published in six issues in Corfu 2000-2002, is now available again in an elegantly produced reprint. One of the editors, Wendy Holborow, tells us:


“Four British women in Corfu started Poetry Greece in 2000 as a reaction to what we thought to be a lot of inferior poetry coming out of the English speaking world at that time. Having discovered Amazon Direct Publishing recently, I realised that it was a good opportunity to re-issue the journal and that it could reach a much wider readership than we originally had. We believe the magazine is as relevant today as it was then. They are now published in a superior form, glossy and perfect bound, though the content is exactly the same.”

All 6 issues are available on Amazon.


Exile and Return – a psychoanalytic study of Lawrence Durrell’s The Alexandria Quartet, Jerusalem: Carmel Publishers Inc.


This inter-disciplinary study of Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990) The Alexandria Quartet (1958-1960), will demonstrate the ways in which the author relied and was inspired by Freudian notions of the dream and dream-work as understood by him.

Lawrence Durrell was an avid reader of Freud and his fictional work is saturated with explicit and implicit reference to Freudian ideas. In this tetralogy, Durrell used the concept of the dream as a topographical construct to demonstrate his claim that the human psyche is governed by transcendental forces. Durrell uses various narrative techniques to echo his claim of the multi-layered voice of the author-protagonist, thus re-vibrating and introducing complex notions regarding the cohesiveness of the human self and its authority.

The Alexandria Quartet was Durrell’s claim to fame. When published in the early Sixties, it brought him world critical and financial acclaim, including a nomination to the Nobel Prize for Literature. The success of the tetralogy brought translations to numerous languages (sadly, only the first two volumes were translated to Hebrew so far). The Alexandria Quartet, despite its declining popularity, is still a shining example to the way Freudian thought informed and inspired creative writing during mid-20th Century as well as being informed by the earlier tradition of the Bildungsroman .

The writing of The Alexandria Quartet was more than “just” telling a complex, multi-layered story. Having suffered himself a separation from his family and homeland at the age of 12, Durrell establishes the field of writing as the place where he can find, create and recreate a sense of belonging absent from his personal life. In this sense, The Alexandria Quartet is Durrell’s attempt to reestablish himself as an autonomous and discreet subject, and yet to acknowledge that being a subject infers being related to, and even controlled by, forces beyond his conscious grasp. Thus, dreams and dream-work seem the perfect media for the author to try and exercise his attempt to come to terms with the sense of existential bewilderment and estrangement which has been a driving force in his life. Through the act of writing, he attempts to transform his injury into art.

The essay shows how Durrell uses different readings of the same textual circumstances to show that the notion of Truth is reliant upon the perspective from which it is viewed and told. The structure of the novel is based upon the idea that Truth is a construct based upon unconscious notions.

In addition to demonstrating the way concepts of dream and dream work construct the novel, this study also shows how Durrell uses particular dreams to bring forth the prominent themes of the novel. In the analysis of two major dreams, this study shows how ideas about sexuality plays a major role in the novel. But Durrell is not content to adopt the Freudian notion of the centrality of sexuality in explaining human motivation. Based upon his own experience as an employee of the British Foreign Office during the Forties and Fifties, he constructs a narrative which uses actual political events in Egypt and Palestine in that period, to portray the individual, again, as a pawn in a game whose rules seem to be arbitrary.

The interpretation of the two dreams show the intricate relation between form and content of the dreams but also address the issue of the authorship of the work. Both dreams serve to communicate to the reader what the author figure is supposedly unaware of. Thus, Durrell makes an important statement regarding the question as to who is the author of the text. Which of the many author figures appearing in the work is “responsible” for the text and its veracity? Can anyone make such a claim? Durrell states his position quite subtly. Due to his own ambivalence towards Freud, which in turn can be interpreted as ambivalence towards his own father, he veers away from simplistic and reductive conclusion. The question of the authorship, as well as the question of Truth, remains unresolved on purpose. It is up to the reader to make up their own minds as to what was the “real” story underlying the labyrinthine plots and sub-plots he describes in the beautiful though biased view of pre- WW2 Alexandria.

Beyond the question of truth, The Alexandria Quartet, and its abundance of references to the workings of the unconscious, be it through actual dreams or through dream-like rich metaphoric prose, deals with the protagonist’s quest for meaning in a world which seems to be traumatized both by political upheavals as well as individual sufferings. The dream-work which the tetralogy offers, points towards a remedy – language. It is the power of language both to injure but also to heal. It is the function of writing, so Durrell claims, to transform pain into art. The particular pain that Durrell sought to relieve through the transformative force of sublimitive writing can be described as relating to his severed sense of belonging. Not being a citizen of any particular nation, as Durrell was, his protagonist becomes a citizen of his own consciousness. Through his existential efforts to make sense of himself, and his world, he is an example of modern man. No longer able to put his trust in the Old World security, shattered by two World Wars, he turns inwards, seeking to define himself through the terms Freudian thought has provided.


Auletris is published by Sky Blue Press. Price Stg8.20 Kindle Stg5.18

Auletris is a recently discovered, previously lost collection of erotica by Anais Nin, consisting of two major sections: “Life in Provincetown” and “Marcel.” A drastically cut version of “Marcel” appears in Nin’s bestselling Delta of Venus, and “Life in Provincetown” has never been published until now. Written in the early 1940s for a collector at a dollar a page, the erotica was also given to agents to sell far and wide. Auletris was sold to Milton Lubovitsky in 1950; Lubovitsky typed up five copies and sold them under the imprint of Press of the Sunken Eye to private buyers under the table. One of these copies surfaced when it was being offered in an auction, and it was then discovered that this collection had been lost to the public for decades. Once the authorship was verified, it was readied for true publication. “Life in Provincetown” is a collection of interwoven stories set in one of Nin’s favorite haunts and is populated with bohemian characters who engage in tabooed sexual behavior, all described in Nin’s classic poetic prose. “Marcel” is another set of stories set mostly in Paris and is largely autobiographical, with many of the characters and situations taken directly from Nin’s diaries. It is three times longer than the version in Delta of Venus and contains many lengthy passages, stories even, that were cut and never before published. Auletris is the first new Anais Nin collection of erotica since Little Birds in 1979.

Following its listing on Amazon, it disappeared from the catalogue.
Paul Herron of Sky Blue Press tells us: “Anais Nin’s erotica collection Auletris was put
into what is known in the industry as Amazon’s “adult content dungeon,”
which essentially makes a book unsearchable. There is a “catalogue team”
that makes decisions about what is and is not appropriate for the masses,
which is reminiscent of the censor boards of the twentieth century. When Amazon demanded that changes be made to both the cover and contents of
Auletris, I went to social media and then the media with the story. It was
first covered by an Australian news agency, but the article that got the
most attention was the one by the Guardian, which appeared Friday. On
Saturday, I got an e-mail from Amazon saying it had lifted its restrictions
on Auletris, and now customers can find it like any other book. They also

On 28 October The Guardian ran this story by  and

“A new volume of lost writing by the author Anaïs Nin has been consigned by online retailer Amazon to its “adult content dungeon” – which is not as kinky as it sounds. Instead it means that Amazon has effectively made the new book, Auletris: Erotica, invisible on its platform to anyone who searches for it under an “All Departments” filter. The publisher of the book, American independent outfit Sky Blue Press, calls Amazon’s decision “unbelievable”. Editor Paul Herron, whose detective work is to thank for the discovery of the manuscript, says that Auletris: Erotica exceeds in its “boldness and variety” Nin’s well-known – and still easily available – erotic works Delta of Venus and Little Birds“Auletris breaks many taboos. There are tales of incest, sex with children, rape, voyeurism, cutting, sadomasochism, homoeroticism (both male and female) [and] autoerotic asphyxiation, to name a few,” he wrote on the Anaïs Nin blog. “The characters are deliciously decadent, and the themes are largely based on Nin’s own experiences, recorded in her unexpurgated diaries. This book comes along just as interest in both Nin and the genre of erotica is booming,”

Herron told the Guardian: “Amazon has essentially blocked viewers from knowing Auletris exists by placing it in what is known as the ‘adult content dungeon’, which means that it does not show up when one searches for the title, unless the search is refined – and very few potential readers know this.” If readers go, therefore, to any of the company’s platforms and search “Auletris” under All Departments, the book does not show up. If they change the search filter to Kindle Store or Books, then a message appears saying that the results are adult content and they have to click through to see the product. “That extra step is the difference between buying or not buying,” Herron says. “Everyone I know in the erotica business tells me that, when Amazon places a book in the dungeon, it kills sales.” Herron says he has been met with “stiff, mindless opposition” in his appeals to Amazon to have the book removed from the dungeon, and has been told by five different people at the company that “rules are rules” and that “what gets a book rated adult is what you would expect”.

Amazon said that for them to bring the book back into the normal storefront, the cover would have to be modified to remove any bare nipples. The cover image is currently based on an erotic French postcard found in Nin’s possessions. In addition, the content of the book would have to be toned down. “This is impossible,” Herron says, “because it is, after all, erotica. When I pressed on, using every bit of logic I could muster – for instance [that] Fifty Shades of Grey is searchable, as are Nin’s Delta of Venus and Little Birds – not only was I given the brush-off, I was told that they were considering rating the other Nin erotica as ‘adult’, thereby rendering them as invisible as Auletris. This has yet to happen, but there was at least that threat. Note there is no such threat for Fifty Shades of Grey, which has made them a whole lot of cash.”

The stories that form Auletris were discovered by Herron in the papers of Gunther Stuhlmann, who was Nin’s literary agent and who died in 2002. Correspondence mentioned them and the papers included photocopied pages from the proposed book. It appears the stories had been written specifically for an unnamed patron in the 1930s, at a pay rate of one dollar per page, and were later published with a print run of just five copies in 1950 by Press of the Sunken Eye, prompting Herron to try to track down a surviving copy. He did, and it was republished by Sky Blue Press on 20 October this year.

Herron says: “The reason I believe Auletris is an important addition to Nin’s canon is that it is pure Nin – not to mention the fact that most of the book has never seen the light of day. I did not tinker with the contents – did not refine, cut, rearrange, change the phrasing, etc – but only tended to grammatical and spelling matters. I want the reader to experience exactly what the mysterious collector, for whom Nin wrote at a dollar a page, did.”

DURRELL LIBRARY OF CORFU announces a new publication:

Lawrence Durrell’s unpublished text The Placebo: an Attic Comedy

The Durrell Library of Corfu is delighted to announce that it has secured  from the Estate of Lawrence Durrell the rights to publish a limited, scholarly edition of Durrell’s unpublished novel, The Placebo.

The Placebo: an Attic Comedy will be co-edited by Richard Pine and David Roessel, and published for the Durrell Library of Corfu by Colenso Books.

The Placebo exists in several manuscript and typescript versions. It was a draft novel which occupied Durrell between the completion of The Alexandria Quartet  and the publication of Tunc-Nunquam. The composition of Tunc-Nunquam was an extremely difficult period for Durrell, during which he suffered severe depression, and this is also reflected in The Placebo.

The drafts of The Placebo: an Attic Comedy bear a very strong resemblance to aspects of Tunc-Nunquam, but it has an identity distinct and separate from its successor. The characters of Caradoc, Charlock and Koepgen are central, and much of the text has a socio-architectural significance, since the novel is itself a hugely extended version of Durrell’s short story “Village of Turtle Doves”. The text of “Village of Turtle Doves” will be included in this scholarly edition.

Richard Pine comments: “Having enjoyed the privilege of producing an edition of Judith for the Durrell centenary year in 2012, I am thrilled that his last remaining major text will now be available. It will cast considerable light on the composition of Tunc-Nunquam. I am delighted that David Roessel, who has done so much to develop our understanding of Durrell’s interest in “Village of Turtle Doves”, his relationship with architect Austen Harrison, and the building project at Gourna, is joining me as co-editor.”

At a later stage, the Durrell Library of Corfu will announce a subscription whereby copies of The Placebo can be pre-ordered. These copies will be collectors’ items, numbered and signed by the editors and publisher.

Publication is envisaged for mid-2018.

Richard Pine founded the Durrell School of Corfu and directed its international seminars from 2002 until 2013. He is the author of Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape (1994/2005) and edited Lawrence Durrell’s previously unpublished novel Judith for the Durrell centenary in 2012.

David Roessel is Professor of Greek Language and Literature and Associate Director, The Pappas Center for Hellenic Studies at Stockton University, and the author of In Byron’s Shadow: Modern Greece in English and American Literature (Oxford University Press 2001).

For further information, send an email to:


TV-related book by Michael Haag

This title will be published in February-March 2017 and is available for pre-order in both PAPERBACK and KINDLE from

Simon Nye’s TV series, The Durrells, is based loosely on Gerald Durrell’s Corfu Trilogy and in particular his much-loved bestseller, My Family and Other Animals. These books in turn are based somewhat loosely on actual events. The real-life Durrells went to Corfu at the urging of Lawrence Durrell, who was already living on the island with his wife, Nancy Myers. Their intent was to keep the family together as his mother, Louisa, was drinking heavily and recovering from a breakdown; ‘We can be proud of the way we brought her up,’ Larry said, only half-jokingly, of the family’s subsequent Corfu sojourn.
Michael Haag’s book covers the background to the Durrell family’s years in Corfu, including their time in India, where all the children were born, and where their father, a brilliant civil engineer, had died. It recalls the real life characters the Durrells encountered on Corfu, notably the biologist and poet Theodore Stephanides, and the taxi driver, Spiros Halikiopoulos. And Haag tells the story of how the Durrells left Corfu, including Margo’s return intent on joining the Greek resistance, and Leslie’s romance in England with the family’s Corfite maid and friend, Maria Kondos. Further chapters cover what happened to the family in later life; here, Lawrence and Gerald Durrell’s biographies are well known, but little has previously been written of Margo, Leslie and Louisa. Haag has fascinating stories to tell of them all.

Haag is the author of Alexandria: City of Memory which focusses on the lives of Cavafy, E M Forster and Lawrence Durrell in Alexandria, and is currently working on a biography of Lawrence Durrell for Yale University Press.



Durrell Re-Read : Crossing the Liminal in Lawrence Durrell’s Major Novels

By James M ClawsonDurrell Re-Read

Reading the twelve major novels of Lawrence Durrell, this study argues for their consideration as a single major project, an opus, marked by themes of liminality and betweenness. As major texts of mid-twentieth-century literature, repeatedly earning nominations for the Nobel Prize, Durrell’s work has attracted renewed critical attention since his centenary in 2012. This study shows the thematic unity of the opus in five areas. First, by disrupting expectations of love and death and by fashioning plural narrators, works in the opus blend notions of the subject and the object. Second, in their use of metafictional elements, the texts present themselves as neither fiction nor reality. Third, their approach to place and identity offers something between the naturalistic and the human-centric. Fourth, though the texts’ initial concerns are engaged with understanding the past and preparing for a future, they all resolve in something like the present. And fifth, though the novels reject many aspects of modernism, they reside nevertheless between the poles of modernism and postmodernism. Shared with other writers, including T.S. Eliot and Henry Miller, as early as the 1940s, Durrell’s plans for his major works of fiction remained consistent through the publication of the last novel in 1985, and these plans show the need to consider the twelve major works as a unitary whole.

This title, published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, can be purchased from for the discounted price of é58.90 POST-FREE anywhere in the world.

A review of James Clawson’s book (by Richard Pine) can be found on the REVIEWS page of this website.

The second volume of Gerald Durrell’s “Corfu Trilogy”, Birds, Beasts and Relatives, has been translated into Greek:


Ζώα, πουλιά και συγγενείς ( 978-960-471-126-0

The translation is by Mimika Dimitra

Gerald Durrell was ten when he went to live on Corfu with his family. It was there that he met the intoxicated hedgehogs, as well as a dancing bear, a talking head, tarantulas, dung beetles, water spiders and of course, a menagerie of eccentric friends.

Gerald Durrell effortlessly emmerses us in the glittering bays and sun-shined olive groves, teaming with weird astonishments.

This is the second volume in the Corfiot Trilogy, Kaleidoscope Publications have already published Η οικογένειά μου και άλλα ζώα, which was launched in Corfu’s Reading Society in May 2016.

All books by Kaleidoscope publications are available on our online bookshop

Τριλογία της Κέρκυρας αφηγείται με αστείρευτο χιούμορ και γοητεία τη ζωή του Ντάρελ –και των ζώων– τα τέσσερα χαρούμενα παιδικά χρόνια που έζησε στην Κέρκυρα του Μεσοπολέμου. Μια σπάνια και μαγική παιδική ηλικία που μόνο να την ζηλέψεις μπορείς…

«Θα μας φάει όλους!» τσίριξε η Μάργκο. «Φέρε ένα όπλο και σώσε τον Τζέρυ», είπε η Μητέρα λιγόθυμα. Γύρισα να δω τι συμβαίνει, κι εκεί, όρθιος στο άνοιγμα της πόρτας, ρουθουνίζοντας ελπιδοφόρα προς το τραπέζι με τα γλυκά, στεκόταν ο Παύλος. Πήγα δίπλα του και τρίφτηκε πάνω μου τρυφερά. «Τζέρυ, χρυσέ μου, πού τη βρήκες την αρκούδα;» ρώτησε η Μητέρα. «Δεν μ’ ενδιαφέρει πού τη βρήκε», είπε ο Λάρυ. «Θα την πάει πίσω αυτή τη στιγμή. Δεν θα το ανεχτώ! Πουλιά, σκυλιά, σκαντζόχοιροι σ’ όλο το σπίτι και τώρα μια αρκούδα

Λίγα λόγια για τον συγγραφέα:

Tζέραλντ Ντάρελ (1925 – 1995) γεννήθηκε στις Ινδίες. Ήταν τριών χρόνων όταν η οικογένεια Ντάρελ επέστρεψε στην Αγγλία. ] Το 1935 οι Ντάρελ αποφάσισαν να εγκατασταθούν στην Κέρκυρα και εκεί ο μικρός Τζέρυ –που ήταν ήδη μανιώδης φιλόζωος– εξελίχθηκε σε ενθουσιώδη φυσιολάτρη, για να γίνει αργότερα ένας από τους πιο σημαντικούς μελετητές και ένθερμος υποστηρικτής της Άγριας Ζωής. Το 1945 ήταν κιόλας φύλακας σε ζωολογικό κήπο και το 1947 διηύθυνε μία αποστολή στο Καμερούν – την πρώτη από πολυάριθμες που ακολούθησαν. Το 1959 ίδρυσε το Ζωολογικό Πάρκο του Τζέρσεϊ, κέντρο για τη διάσωση επαπειλούμενων ειδών, και το 1963 το Ίδρυμα Τζέρσεϊ για την Προστασία της Άγριας Ζωής, που τώρα ονομάζεται προς τιμήν του Ίδρυμα Ντάρελ για την Προστασία της Άγριας Ζωής. Το 1982, τιμώντας τον για το σημαντικό έργο του, η Βασίλισσα τον έχρισε μέλος του Τάγματος της Βρετανικής Αυτοκρατορίας.

New translation of My Family and Other Animals

a new translation of Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals by Marina Dimitra & Dimitra Simou has just been published by Kaleidoscope publishers (Athens) and was launched in Corfu and Athens in May by Lee Durrell.

Η οικογένειά μου και άλλα ζώα είναι ένα συναρπαστικό βιβλίο που περιγράφει με το μοναδικό χιούμορ του Τζέραλντ Ντάρελ τα τέσσερα χαρούμενα παιδικά χρόνια που έζησε στην Κέρκυρα του Μεσοπολέμου.  Εκτός από την έτσι κι αλλιώς ιδιόρρυθμη οικογένεια Ντάρελ, στις σελίδες του παρελαύνουν οι εκκεντρικοί φίλοι τους, τα σκυλιά τους και μια πολύχρωμη συλλογή από ζώα που κουβαλάει σπίτι του ο μικρός Τζέρυ για να τα μελετήσει καλύτερα. Καρακάξες, κουκουβάγιες, νερόφιδα, σκορπιοί και σαμιαμίδια, χελώνες, περιστέρια, ακόμα κι ένας γλάρος κρύβονται σε γωνιές και σε σπιρτόκουτα, πετούν ελεύθερα από δωμάτιο σε δωμάτιο και αναστατώνουν τη ζωή της οικογένειας σ’ αυτό το γεμάτο ήλιο χρονικό που οι κριτικοί το χαρακτήρισαν «θεότρελο», «έξοχο», «μαγικό», και οι αναγνώστες το αγάπησαν φανατικά.

Ο κ. Μπίλερ μας έδειχνε τη μια μετά την άλλη βίλες σε μεγάλη ποικιλία χρωμάτων, μεγέθους και τοποθεσίας, κι η Μητέρα κουνούσε το κεφάλι αρνητικά. Όταν, τέλος, επιθεωρήσαμε την δέκατη και τελευταία βίλα στον κατάλογο του κυρίου Μπίλερ κι η Μητέρα την αποδοκίμασε και αυτήν, ο κ. Μπίλερ κάθισε στα σκαλιά και σκούπισε το πρόσωπό του με το μαντήλι του.«Κυρία Ντάρελ», είπε, «σας έδειξα όλα τα σπίτια που ξέρω και δεν σας άρεσε κανένα. Τι είδους σπίτι ζητάτε, κυρία μου; Τι πρόβλημα έχουν αυτά τα σπίτια;» Η Μητέρα τον κοίταξε με έκπληξη. «Δεν το παρατηρήσατε;» ρώτησε. «Ούτε ένα δεν είχε κανονικό μπάνιο, με μπανιέρα».Ο κ. Μπίλερ γούρλωσε τα μάτια του. «Μα, κυρία μου», θρήνησε με αγωνία, «τι τη θέλετε την μπανιέρα; Έχετε τη θάλασσα!»Γυρίσαμε στο ξενοδοχείο σιωπηλοί.

Το βιβλίο που μάγεψε το αγγλόφωνο κοινό, τώρα και στα ελληνικά.

Λίγα λόγια για τον συγγραφέα:

Tζέραλντ Ντάρελ (1925 – 1995) γεννήθηκε στις Ινδίες. Ήταν τριών χρόνων όταν η οικογένεια Ντάρελ επέστρεψε στην Αγγλία. ] Το 1935 οι Ντάρελ αποφάσισαν να εγκατασταθούν στην Κέρκυρα και εκεί ο μικρός Τζέρυ –που ήταν ήδη μανιώδης φιλόζωος– εξελίχθηκε σε ενθουσιώδη φυσιολάτρη, για να γίνει αργότερα ένας από τους πιο σημαντικούς μελετητές και ένθερμος υποστηρικτής της Άγριας Ζωής. Το 1945 ήταν κιόλας φύλακας σε ζωολογικό κήπο και το 1947 διηύθυνε μία αποστολή στο Καμερούν – την πρώτη από πολυάριθμες που ακολούθησαν. Το 1959 ίδρυσε το Ζωολογικό Πάρκο του Τζέρσεϊ, κέντρο για τη διάσωση επαπειλούμενων ειδών, και το 1963 το Ίδρυμα Τζέρσεϊ για την Προστασία της Άγριας Ζωής, που τώρα ονομάζεται προς τιμήν του Ίδρυμα Ντάρελ για την Προστασία της Άγριας Ζωής. Το 1982, τιμώντας τον για το σημαντικό έργο του, η Βασίλισσα τον έχρισε μέλος του Τάγματος της Βρετανικής Αυτοκρατορίας.

Δείτε περισσότερα:

Για το βιβλίο:

Για τον συγγραφέα:



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