Threading the Labyrinth: Durrell, Greece, and World War II
On Miracle Ground XIX
Rethymnon, Crete | 26-30 June 2016
The International Lawrence Durrell Society invites proposals for a conference to be held in late June 2016 at the Rethymnon campus of the University of Crete in Greece.
Crete was the site of heavy fighting in World War II, and its people mounted fierce resistance to occupying Axis forces. In April 1941, Lawrence Durrell and his family found temporary refuge on the island as they made their way to exile. Waiting out the war in Egypt, Durrell relished hearing about the wartime exploits of his SOE friends and associates, including the kidnapping of the German commander on Crete. Later Durrell revisited Cretan culture and landscape in his 1947 novel Cefalû, subsequently retitled The Dark Labyrinth. Known in antiquity for the labyrinth of Daedalus and the minotaur of Knossos, the island of Crete is an appropriate venue from which to consider the mazelike entanglements of the second world war.
The organizers of “On Miracle Ground XIX” welcome papers and panels on all aspects of Lawrence Durrell’s writing, life, and literary circle. For the 2016 conference, we also encourage proposals on texts related to the Cretan resistance in World War II, including writings by and about Patrick Leigh Fermor, Xan Fielding, and Stanley Moss. Additionally welcome are proposals on other topics connected to the conference theme, as for example: Literature of World War II; Greek authors, or authors with ties to Greece in the 20th century; Durrell in the Mediterranean; the British Information Office during WWII; writers’ responses to authority, patriarchy, or gender; and modern explorations of the Cretan labyrinth.
Less than an hour’s flight from Athens, the island of Crete is convenient to many destinations in the eastern Mediterranean. With a history dating back to the Minoan civilization and spanning many other cultures, Crete is a popular destination for archaeologists and historians and offers many opportunities for conference excursions.