Justine: Lawrence Durrell

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Justine: Lawrence Durrell

Justine: Lawrence Durrell

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I went home to Melissa. "You are in love with Justine," she said. "No," I replied. "It is much worse than that." Is narcissism a habit? Was I too strong to be loved? Was I utterly deluded? As if all that weren’t enough spice Lawrence Durrell adds some danger and intrigue with an international spy plot which again involves several of the prominent characters in the novel. Rashidi, Linda Stump. (Re)constructing Reality: Complexity in Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet. New York: Peter Lang, 2005. The biggest problem, however, is the theme of the book itself. Or perhaps not the theme, but the recurring elements. In brief, our protagonist cheats on his girlfriend Melissa with Justine, who is in turn cheating on her husband Nessim. So far, so standard. The difficulty comes when our unnamed protagonist and Justine spend much of their time lamenting their infidelity, but unable to help themselves. Durrell is clearly trying to make some philosophical statements about love and life, but I simply felt that the narrator and Justine were fairly shallow people that I would not much like.

On 22 January 1935, Durrell married art student Nancy Isobel Myers (1912–1983), with whom he briefly ran a photographic studio in London. [6] It was the first of his four marriages. [7] Durrell was always unhappy in England, and in March of that year he persuaded his new wife, and his mother and younger siblings, to move to the Greek island of Corfu. There they could live more economically and escape both the English weather, and what Durrell considered the stultifying English culture, which he described as "the English death". [8] I first read the whole of the Alexandria Quartet in about 1970. I was gripped by the novels, felt the power of the darkness, was challenged by the mysticism, relieved I wasn’t suffering in love as several characters in the novel. And I couldn’t stop reading. A man pursued by furies (a review of Bowker's biography)". The Herald. 14 December 1996 . Retrieved 19 September 2020. In 1957, Durrell published Justine, the first novel of what was to become his most famous work, The Alexandria Quartet. Justine, Balthazar (1958), Mountolive (1958), and Clea (1960), deal with events before and during the Second World War in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. The first three books tell essentially the same story and series of events, but from the varying perspectives of different characters. Durrell described this technique in his introductory note in Balthazar as "relativistic." Only in the final novel, Clea, does the story advance in time and reach a conclusion. Critics praised the Quartet for its richness of style, the variety and vividness of its characters, its movement between the personal and the political, and its locations in and around the ancient Egyptian city which Durrell portrays as the chief protagonist: "The city which used us as its flora—precipitated in us conflicts which were hers and which we mistook for our own: beloved Alexandria!" The Times Literary Supplement review of the Quartet stated: "If ever a work bore an instantly recognizable signature on every sentence, this is it."


I know that for us love-making was only a small part of the total picture projected by a mental intimacy which proliferated and ramified daily around us."

After Durrell's death, his lifelong friend Alan G. Thomas donated a collection of books and periodicals associated with Durrell to the British Library. This is maintained as the distinct Lawrence Durrell Collection. Thomas had earlier edited an anthology of writings, letters and poetry by Durrell, published as Spirit of Place (1969). It contained material related to Durrell's own published works. An important documentary resource is kept by the Bibliothèque Lawrence Durrell at Paris Nanterre University. [ citation needed] Bibliography [ edit ] Novels [ edit ]

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Bowker, Gordon. Through the Dark Labyrinth: A Biography of Lawrence Durrell. New York: St. Martin's P, 1997. Through Nessim, I came to move in the cobweb of Alexandrian society. I came to blanch at the banality of Melissa's life as a dancer. "If you loved me, you would poison me," she said. Chamberlin, Brewster. A Chronology of the Life and Times of Lawrence Durrell. Corfu: Durrell School of Corfu, 2007. It is only as the train begins to move, and as the figure at the window, dark against the darkness, lets go of my hand, that I feel Melissa is really leaving; feel everything that is inexorably denied — [...] I stand as if marooned on an iceberg.

Alexandre-Garner, Corinne, ed. Lawrence Durrell: Actes Du Colloque Pour L'Inauguration De La Bibliothèque Durrell. Confluences 15. Nanterre: Université Paris-X, 1998. I'll mention Clea first, because in many ways she says something that defines the apparent motivation of the novel: You might have guessed it was Justine I once loved," Clea later wrote to me. "She has extinguished her sexuality and is working on a kibbutz. Melissa has died of cancer, having given birth to Nessim's star-crossed child. Can we be friends?" The Curious History of Pope Joan (1954; revised 1960), originally " The Papess Joanne" by Emmanuel Roídes and translated by Durrell

I return link by link along the iron chains of memory to the city which we used to inhabit together: the city which... precipitated in us conflicts which were hers and which we mistook for our own: Alexandria...It is the city which should be judged, though we, its children, must pay the price." Gifford, James. Personal Modernisms: Anarchist Networks and the Later Avant-Gardes . EdmontonL U Alberta P, 2014. I might finish it at another time, but I’d like to do it at a point where I might be able to appreciate the intent behind the metaphors and ignore the frustrating digressions. I did like the first part of this so much. But now is not that time. Collectively, they constitute a diversity of perspectives on the nature of time, space, experience, imagination and love that rival Proust. I don't want you to read what I wrote and get the mistaken idea that this book is actually exciting. It isn't. It's the most boring and pedantic version of hedonism that I've ever had the displeasure of reading about.

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