Saturday, December 22, 2012


Heureux Qui Comme Ulysse

An anonymous correspondent quoted in Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), The Greek Islands (1978; rpt. London: Faber and Faber, 2002), pp. 42-43:
On Ithaca I was once accosted by a little man on a donkey who addressed me in good American with the flat vowels of Detroit, where he had lived and worked for half a century. Though old, he was extremely spry, and dark as an olive with clever, twinkling eyes. He said he had come back to die at home, and was proud to show me his humble cottage in a small olive plot. His attitude was extremely aristocratic and he made Turkish coffee and offered me, in regal fashion, a spoonful of the traditional traditional viscino—a cherry jam. All he owned apart from his house and a donkey and a couple of suits of clothes was a machine which, by the turn of a handle, could shred down corn cobs. He had planted some corn in a pocket nearby. He said that he was utterly happy to be home and missed nothing and nobody in the new world. He looked indeed blissfully happy to be home at last and I thought of Ulysses.
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