Pied Piper of Lovers
, published in 1935, is Lawrence Durrell
's first novel. It is followed by Panic Spring
, which partly continues the actions of its characters. The novel is in large part autobiographical and focuses on the protagonist's childhood in India
and maturation in London
Walsh Clifton is an Anglo-Indian born of an inter-racial couple. His mother dies during childbirth in the opening scenes of the novel. He is raised in India by his father, John Clifton, and his aunt Brenda. Walsh is torn between his strong ties to India and his position as a colonial. He appears most comfortable around Indian characters, though they are not thoroughly developed in the novel, and he is regularly discomforted by representatives of European culture and Christianity
in particular. He develops a sense of superiority over several Indian characters, typically echoing other European characters, but these feelings are regularly thwarted, often in tandem with challenges to traditional European notions of masculinity. This is compounded by Walsh's increasing awareness of his mortality, symbolized by the human ankle bone he sees in a pyre and his Grandmamma's morbid fixation on death.
Walsh is then sent 'home' to England for his education by his father, where he is again caught in a conflict between being English or Indian. The former is often associated with paternal and masculine identity while the latter is frequently tied to maternal and feminine identity. This portion of... Read More