|On cheerful and informative books of the English zoologist and writer Gerald Darrell not one generation of children grew. With unique humour and sincere love he tells about animals to whom devoted all the life. But in some books as, for example, "My family and other animals", is a place and for favourite people. |
In fact, "My family and other animals" (in other translation — "My family and other animals") — is the autobiography in which Gerald Darrell tells about the childhood spent on the Greek island of Corfu. His mother widow moved there with four children when Gerald was ten years old. The family Darrelov spent five years to Corfu before returning back to England.
The book "My Family and Other Animals" was written in 1956. It is the first part of so-called "Trilogy Corfu". In two other parts — "Birds, animals and relatives" (1969) and "Garden of gods" (1978) Darrell also tells about the childhood which is carried out in Greece.
Initially Darrell was not going to write the autobiography, he simply wanted to describe fauna of the island about some add nostalgia on the left days of the childhood. But he admitted the memoirs that, having started writing the book, he made a serious mistake: let in on the first pages of the native. Those started "managing", brought into all chapters of the friends, and to the author remained nothing, except how to reconcile and defend at least some pages which are completely devoted to animals.
With amazing warmth which does not hide even firm playful tone of a narration, Darrell tells about the family. About mother who after death of the husband had to raise four children alone. About elder brothers — Larry and Lesley — and about elder sister Margo. About the teacher Theodor Stefanides, the famous Greek poet, the writer, the doctor and the naturalist who imparted to it love to animals and in many respects defined further destiny of little Gerry. About kind, cheerful and sympathetic inhabitants of the island who helped his family, than could.
The book, of course, is full of firm darrelovsky humour — soft, thin and not offensive — irony and self-irony. Reading Gerald Darrell's autobiography, it is necessary to smile and to empathize heroes. And if very much to try, it is possible to close eyes and to present the lake with lilies, tsiklamenovy groves and silent bays of the island of Corfu and for a while — at least on a sekundochka! — to imagine itself the friend of the family Darrellov.
The story was twice picturized. In 1987 the director Peter Barber-Fleminsh shot on it the mini-series of the same name, and in 2005, after death of the author, the feature film of the director Sherea Folksona was issued.
Quotes from the book
"— Unless it is not ridiculous that the future generations will be deprived of my book only that to some brainless idiot took in head to bind this vile pack cattle directly at me under a window!
— Yes, darling — mother responded. — Why you will not move away him if it disturbs you?
— Dear mummy, I have no time to send donkeys on olive groves. I started in it the book on Christianity stories. What, your way, I still could make?"
"— Speak — it began — say that when the person becomes old as I, in his body everything is slowed down. No, I do not trust it. It not so. I have the theory. Not in the person everything is slowed down, and life for him is slowed down. You understand me? Everything becomes as if tightened and when everything moves more slowly, it is possible to notice much more. All is visible to you! All unusual that occurs round you about what you even did not suspect before. What wonderful experience, simply wonderful."
"— Well and people — Larry was distressed. — Any reciprocity, any participation to the neighbor.
— Very much you have a lot of participation to the neighbor — noticed Margo.
— And all your fault, mother — seriously was told by Larry. — Why was to bring up us such egoists?
— You only listen! — mother exclaimed. — I brought up them egoists!
— Of course — Larry told. — Without assistance we would not manage to reach such results."