Caesar's Vast Ghost: Aspects of Provence

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Faber & Faber, 2002 - Provence (France) - 224 pages
2 Reviews

Provence, where Lawrence Durrell lived for thirty years, is the motif of this final work, published just before his death. It is a highly personal and unusual book, part travelogue, part writer's notebook, part autobiography. It preserves memories from his intimate experience of the Midi, and scattered through the evocative text are nineteen poems inspired by the genius of the place.

'A richly characteristic bouillabaisse by our last great garlicky master of the vanishing Mediterranean, our old Prospero of the south; poet, travel writer, novelist and fumiste . . .' Richard Holmes, The Times

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - richardderus - LibraryThing

Rating: 3.5* of five The Publisher Says: Before Peter Mayle there was Lawrence Durrell, who for more than 30 years made Provence his home. In this, his last book, he distills the affection and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nemoman - LibraryThing

This is one of my two favorite books on Provence, the other being Ford Maddoxx Ford's book "Provence". Durell spent his last years in Provence and this book does a great job of capturing its history ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

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 Sommières in 1990.

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