The last of a magical breed

From Judy Stove who writes for The New Criterion.

“Readers may like to know that there is an excellent article by David Mason about PLF in The New Criterion, September 2011.  Unfortunately the online version is for subscribers only or by purchase.

Mason, as a young man, and his then wife visited PLF and Joan at Kardamyli.  He tried to impress with quoting Waugh and Anthony Powell, only to find that PLF and Xan Fielding actually knew these people…A funny and poignant memorial, one of the better PLF tributes going around.”

David Mason’s article begins thus:

The death of Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor on June 10 at age ninety-six has been mourned in virtually every major newspaper in the English-speaking world. He has been celebrated as the last of a magic breed, the Byronic hero, a man of action who was also one of our most vigorous writers. The fuss would have surprised Paddy, who never assumed his contributions were admired and became nonplussed when anyone heaped praise on his head. The long-refused knighthood he finally allowed to be conferred upon him in 2004 did nothing to elevate him above Greek shepherds or the myriad visitors to his villa in the southern Peloponnese. Paddy was youthful and convivial to the end, with an attractive and genuine interest in the world outside himself. People couldn’t get enough of him.

Yet his readers had to learn patience as the books arrived from his pen at a snail’s pace—he didn’t learn how to use a typewriter until in his nineties …

If you are a subscriber you can read the article here. If not go to the same link and you can access this one article for $3.00.

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