Eleni Sevin and Spasmophilia

In her book 'Shadow-boxing with the Past', Eleni Sevin discusses her genetic muscular disorder, spasmophilia, something from which many people suffer unwittingly, since the disorder is unknown to many doctors and therapists. And this while in France, for example, about 14% of the population are latently spasmophilic…

With this book, Eleni attempts to dispel this ignorance, by naming the affliction appropriately and mapping out its extensive clinical picture – chiefly through describing her own quest for a certain balance. She hopes in this way to inform spasmophilic patients and those close to them, and perhaps also to arouse interest among doctors and therapists.

Although the book stands entirely on its own merits, in a sense it follows on from 'A Bite of Ice-cream', since it too is written in the form of a letter to Lawrence Durrell – this because, to an important extent, the book concerns one of Durrell's own preoccupations: the spiritual journey through life. Indeed, Durrell tried hard to interest the atheistic Eleni in spirituality, without apparent success. At the time of his death and thereafter, however, events conspired to change Eleni's outlook dramatically.

Subsequently, Eleni's search for healing led her into some very strange and symbolic pathways, back into her early life, and – not a normal course of events, this – further back still…