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South Wind By Norman Douglas,

  • Title: South Wind
  • Author: Norman Douglas
  • ISBN: 9781406926989
  • Page: 499
  • Format: Paperback
  • South Wind depicts a group of eccentric and even scandalous characters wiling away their time in a sunny Mediterranean resort The novel takes place on Nepenthe, Douglas s thinly veiled version of Capri, an island retreat for pleasure seekers since Roman times In classical mythology, nepenthe was a medicine that caused one to forget melancholy and suffering Douglas coSouth Wind depicts a group of eccentric and even scandalous characters wiling away their time in a sunny Mediterranean resort The novel takes place on Nepenthe, Douglas s thinly veiled version of Capri, an island retreat for pleasure seekers since Roman times In classical mythology, nepenthe was a medicine that caused one to forget melancholy and suffering Douglas comical duchesses, American millionaires, and expatriate freethinkers forget not only suffering, but conventional morality and even ordinary discretion.In the series of witty conversations that make up much of the novel, the characters analyze and mock religion, science, morality, progress, and the legacies of classical civilization The novel spoke to the young, rebellious, and cynical generation that was scarred by the experience of World War I, and influenced younger English writers such as Aldous Huxley and Graham Greene.
    South Wind South Wind depicts a group of eccentric and even scandalous characters wiling away their time in a sunny Mediterranean resort The novel takes place on Nepenthe Douglas s thinly veiled version of Capr

    One thought on “South Wind”

    1. Imagine this scene A beautiful house with lots of windows facing south In a recently vacated bedroom on the first floor, the drawers and wardrobe lie open and empty, their contents packed up and gone The only traces that remain of the former occupant are the faint whiff of her perfume and the abandoned book on the dressing table, its pages rustling in the breeze from the open windows The title of the book is South Wind I came across that scenario in Elizabeth Bowen s The Last September and becam [...]

    2. Gilbert Sullivan on Capri where the little known author lived Volcanic eruptions, an earthquake, a funeral and a festival keep the multi cast pondering sex, religion, life Advisories Get rid of conventional notions, if you value your health and The secret of happiness is curiousity The denizens include a scholar who can t decide if a relic is the thigh bone of a saint or thetibia of a cow a Wildean lady who wanders into polite murder a teenage poet who laments that he has nothing to say I can on [...]

    3. Note This is the longest review I ve yet composed on , but this is such an astounding work of genius, of learning and writer s craft, I feel it should be better known What follows is my small attempt to bring this about I glanced too, at the books they were numerous, untidy, and miscellaneous But one shelf was a little neater than the rest and here I noted the following sequence which for a moment seemed to form a vague musical phrase, oddly familiar Hamlet, La Morte d Arthur, The Bridge of San [...]

    4. This is a really odd book I think the fact that it was published in 1917 redeems it somewhat it seems ahead of its time, and if it had been released after 1955 I probably would have hated it It would have seemed like Kingsley Amis or David Lodge than Evelyn Waugh It is resolutely comical and transgressively clever, rather than nakedly reprobative The author, Norman Douglas, was mainly a travel writer, and apparently a bit of a pederast, occasionally fleeing scandal and the authorities.There isn [...]

    5. When I read reviews, I usually go to the negative ones first entertaining And from what I can tell, those who dislike South Wind dislike it strongly, and for the following reasons 1 the language is difficult, 2 the story lacks plot, and 3 both the language and whatever passes for plot seems antiquated People who love reading will shrug these off immediately Difficult language Ah, says the reader, the joy of learning new words, new languages, new innuendos Besides, no one would read Shakespeare [...]

    6. Douglas s most famous novel, although almost unknown today, was popular when published in 1917 It was the first to exploit, using literary satire, the sensual pleasure island of Capri, here transparently disguised as the island of Nepenthe, named for the drug of forgetfulness from Greek mythology.The real island has a very long recorded history In AD 20, the Emperor Tiberius decided to leave Rome forever and to build a palace in Capri, and, according to Suetonius, at last gave vent to all the vi [...]

    7. Read for free at GutenbergOpeninG The bishop was feeling rather sea sick Confoundedly sea sick, in fact.This annoyed him For he disapproved of sickness in every shape or form His own state of body was far from satisfactory at that moment Africa he was Bishop of Bampopo in the Equatorial Regions had played the devil with his lower gastric department and made him almost an invalid a circumstance of which he was nowise proud, seeing that ill health led to inefficiency in all walks of life There was [...]

    8. According to the resident expert who pressed this into my hand, this was one of Vlad Nabokov s favorite novels, and I can see why there are some snarky scholarship and annotation parodies involving Saint Dodekanus and the fictional island of Nepenthe i.e Capri which clearly inspired Pale Fire But, wow, has this novel dated terribly the prose is wooden, the humor is droll and pretentious, and all the moral political religious mostly religious targets of Douglas s wit are, y know, circa 1917 I m a [...]

    9. A wonderful tale of life among the disreptutable expats on the Mediterranean island of Nepenthe commonly believed to represent Capri, but possibly the ideal of which Capri is a reflection There is a plot, of sorts, but the attraction is in a frolicsome perversity , in spending a few days on the beaches and taverns with these drunks and monomaniacs, hearing their grand schemes and thoughts on life, spying on the minutiae of their many sins obliquely though they are often described Many of the be [...]

    10. Before beginning In a review of one of Douglas s later novels, Waugh wrote that in SOUTH WIND he had achieved, with superb facility, the only great satirical novel of his generation So let s just see what we ve got.A third of the way through the chapters are organized casually, as is, occasionally, the narration Napoleon, or somebody, once remarked L etat, c est moi But the story has a definite shape we meet various characters in conversation with others, then eventually get their backstories Al [...]

    11. South Wind is a unique novel Rather than presenting a traditional plot it seems like an olio or mixture of lectures and observations on various, often obscure, aspects of geology, climatology, history, morality, religion, and folklore, among other topics The author s use of articulate characters confined to a restricted setting allows for ample airing of views and recalls the methods of English novelist Thomas Love Peacock, whose country house novels were once very popular.South Wind s setting i [...]

    12. Returning from Africa, the Anglican Bishop of Bompopo detours to the little island of Nepenthe, where he finds some charming natives and an assortment of interesting and eccentric expatriates As the Nepenthean year slides gently along, the expatriates go on about their lives, living in a dreamland, and maintaining illusions that keep them happy about themselves.This 1917 book is the work of George Norman Douglas 1868 1952 , Scottish author and diplomat, and is considered by some to be his master [...]

    13. Vices My dear bishop Under a sky like this Yes, under a sky like that Vices, vices, and vices That azure sky, assisted by the restless winds of the sirocco, the Mediterranean mentality, and a community of morally dubious ex patriated residents made the island of Capri a hothouse for vice in the early 20th century.It was also a hothouse for high culture and the finer things in life Artists, duchesses, poets and counts, they came from all over Europe to the playground of Tiberius Norman Douglas w [...]

    14. Deducting stars for excessive length Douglas clearly does not believe brevity is the soul of wit, a big problem when he s trying to ape Oscar Wilde s epigrammatic style He loves the sound of his own voice and simply cannot write a single sentence where 22 paragraphs will do just as well I reckon the book would have been vastly improved if 100 150 pages were cut As it was up until the last 90 pages I was going to award this two stars.It s a satire on Victorian attitudes especially towards moralit [...]

    15. I looked into this because Nabokov mentioned admiring it some of his letters to his wife though he later reported that he heard Douglas was a malicious pederast I can imagine N appreciating the carefully crafted world of characters, each with their relationships with one another, all being subtly moved around It also reads like the anti Magic Mountain which I m sure amused him N loathed Mann , with characters endlessly engaged in long winded philosophical discussions, only here Douglas is obviou [...]

    16. A tale of a mediterranean island and various foreigners who have ended up there Its a veritable paradise although with a dark edge The climate induces a relaxation of the morals and many people who come there are fleeing their past As the story progresses we learn about each of these characters and their background aswell as the rather bloody history of the island itself The author really captures that sense of freedom, change and unreality you tend to get when you go on holiday There s a lot t [...]

    17. Character sketches and anecdotes about a mixture of ex pats, tourists and locals on an Italian island c.a 1910 Mostly pointless.

    18. Viewed from the clammy deck on this bright morning, the island of Nepenthe resembled a cloud It was a silvery speck upon that limitless expanse of blue sea and sky A south wind breathed over the Mediterranean waters, drawing up their moisture which lay couched in thick mists abut its flanks and uplands So writes Norman Douglas in his 1917 novel South Wind The island of Nepenthe is a stand in for Capri, and Douglas novel is full of oddball characters, affected by the sirocco coming up from Morocc [...]

    19. I enjoyed this a great deal I didn t know much about the author except that when the cookery writer Elizabeth David encountered him living in exile n Capri she thought him amusing company for a waspish old pederast Well, this is certainly waspish the satire has a cruel edge as effective satire must , and it is frequently laugh out loud witty though sometimes teetering into absurdity It s also old that is to say, in style and spirit it is clearly the kind of thing from a different age I never met [...]

    20. Norman Douglas noted that Madame Steynlin unmarried but incurably romantic and a minor character called her lover, another minor character her Little Peter, or in his expansive moments, Peter the Great and that served to define what we were reading here on Nepenthe, during the spring when the south winds blows strongly, nothing is sacred, especially reputations and as Keith, polyglot and ironically, afraid of growing old and of death chastises Mr Heard saying It strikes me that you attach inord [...]

    21. This social satire, set on an imaginary Italian island, was on my reading list for some time until a copy fell into my hands It took a couple goes to get through There are quite a few characters to track and most of the book consists of conversation as an Anglican Bishop eventually lets loose his moral compass or resets it and finds himself approving of murder.

    22. Lots of Douglas s ideas, occasionally expressed in playfully subversive and ostentatiously exaggerated manner by several idiosyncratic characters, oftentimes retorting if not contradicting each other, appeal to me to a large extent A point could be made that I ve only skin deep, if any, acquaintance with the antique literature, and thus am easily led astray by anything even remotely resembling rhetoric and pith of ancient wisdom related in succinct, slightly streamlined style Without a doubt the [...]

    23. South Wind was published in 1917, while war raged in the battlefields of the the north against war it makes a call for civilisation, culture and peace Withdraw from the madness of mass thinking, create your own moral code, says Douglas in the person of his alter ego, Keith The structure is complex and simple at the same time Not much happens, except that a murder is committed The importance of the murder is the effect it has on the bishop, Keith s foil, who comes to understand Keith s message mo [...]

    24. Southwind is a delightfully ingenious comic novel about the island of Nepenthe to which an Anglican Bishop has arrived fresh from a long missionary stint in Africa, only to find all his cherished notions of religion and morality challenged by the local culture and its personalities as well as a recurrent south wind inducing in him a spirit of indolence and relaxed standards Nepenthe is based on Capri where Norman Douglas lived for a time Douglas s wit and humor are subtle and clever even though [...]

    25. Because Time magazine once equated this novel with Candide and with The Odyssey, I found it, read 15 chapters, then read the first and last paragraphs of the remaining 35 chapters I then read and admired Candide and am enjoying The Odyssey All three do involve adventure in exotic locales far from home, where the weather affects controls people, but I don t see this one on the top shelf with the other two Interesting try, though, for an English travel writer in 1917 His life started in 1868 and e [...]

    26. Great language and characterization throughout Would be a classic if the author had gone beyond the skeletal plotbut it picks up a bit in the second half In parts it feels like a much lesser version of The Canterbury Taleseveryone reciting tales and monologues without interaction or development, but this isn t out of place given the fictional island context return return This was my first eBook for the nooka great reading experience Also can t beat the price FREE at manybooks.

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