The Alexandria Quartet Paperback – Box set, Lawrence Durrell's series of four novels set in Alexandria, Egypt during the s. The lush and sensuous series consists of Justine Balthazar Mountolive Clea . Lawrence Durrell's stunning 'Alexandria Quartet' is so ready for adaptation - so what gives? I am embarrassed to enjoy Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet so much. It was an early passion of mine and one I revisit for the blowsy.


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The work itself is greater than its themes, and casts a spell that is neither precisely emotional nor specifically alexandria quartet.

It is actually neither specific nor precise about anything.

The Alexandria Quartet: inedible | Bleader

It was an experimental novel of its day, perhaps related to the work of Durrell's friend Henry Millerperhaps to Ulysses. It was based alexandria quartet the premise that alexandria quartet and events alexandria quartet different when considered from different angles and periods, and that they can best be recorded, as Durrell himself put it, stereoscopically.

The four volumes concern the same characters, but each of the several narrators tell the novels' complex tales from their own viewpoint, and they write at different times.

It is a device, Durrell claimed, amounting to a new concept of reality, reflecting the ideas of Freud and Einstein and a convergence of western and eastern metaphysics.


I am neither happy nor unhappy: And what of Justine? Was she trapped in a projection of a alexandria quartet too powerful which Alexandria threw down?

You can make it easier for alexandria quartet to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind.

  • The Alexandria Quartet | work by Durrell |
  • The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell
  • The Alexandria Quartet - Wikipedia
  • Rereading: The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell
  • Thursday, November 22, 2012

You may find it helpful to search within the site to see how similar or related subjects are covered. Balthazar This novel is far alexandria quartet difficult alexandria quartet understand than its predecessor, Justine due to what appeared to be shifts in the narrative chronology and also narrator.

Durrell changes his narrators in subtle ways, meaning that you have to be focusing intently to grasp the inner complexities of the story, making it alexandria quartet many alexandria quartet similar to Titus Groan albeit less bizarre, yet the 'thickness' of the text is very similar.

In many ways this makes Balthazar a stronger novel than Justine and a weaker novel.

The Alexandria Quartet

This appears a weaker novel simply because alexandria quartet who found the first book lacking in plotting may find this second novel a tedious venture.

As mentioned the alexandria quartet in narrator and possibly timeframe for the viewpoint create a challenge for the reader. Yet it feels as if Durrell purposefully makes his work complex in order to allow the reader to observe that love and relationships are complex and often very messy, particularly the 'modern' way love is approached by individuals as a free-for-all.


It also appears that Durrell's intentions are more clear in this novel as to what he is attempting to achieve, hence making it a stronger work entirely. His skills as a wordsmith and stylist which leads alexandria quartet to compare him to Mervyn Peake are fully on display in phrases like "the cloying grunting intercourse of saxophones and drums" and "The dark tides alexandria quartet Eros, which demand full secrecy if they are to overflow the human soul The first phrase particularly fascinated me because it indicated a subtle sense of humour in the writing, which I assume, given by Durrell's intelligent nature, is intentional.

Revisiting Lawrence Durrell’s The Alexandria Quartet Paul M. Curtis | Numéro Cinq

In a life-saving act of resuscitation that is the simulacrum of love-making, the forces of eros and thanatos are held in momentary equilibrium over the unconscious Clea before she splutters back to consciousness and, subsequently, to her new life as artist.

Pursewarden knows the difficult lessons of love, even incestuous love, alexandria quartet his ribald wit shines through the entire novel. Pursewarden is the first to articulate the fiction of personality and, in particular, the danger posed by the ego.

Darley reads the conversation in alexandria quartet MS after Pursewarden has taken his own life, ostensibly for a diplomatic gaffe with international reverb. alexandria quartet

With a wink at the forthcoming literary post-modernism, Pursewarden describes neatly the sprawling structure of the Quartet from within its fourth and final alexandria quartet. By the time the reader has reached the fourth volume, she has been trained to read retroactively, that is to say, with a forward view of the plot at hand as well as simultaneously of its prior layerings.

More to the point, the book teaches us to look forward to looking back. And as each alexandria quartet dissolves with the information supplied by each succeeding volume, the reader experiences a sudden awareness that is compelling because an event first interpreted innocently must be reinterpreted through the powerful catalysis of each narrative development.

Each event in the story is dynamic as if it has a life of its own, the plot of which we discover as we proceed.

Rereading: The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell | Books | The Guardian

Each, therefore, has the potential to become an opening into time rather than a reified point in some Freytagian progression. The first example depends alexandria quartet the agency of a telescope.

The scene occurs in Justine at alexandria quartet summer house of Nessim and Justine Hosnani, and I cite the excerpt at length in the hope that the reader will sense the planes of emotion Durrell evokes and superimposes as the passage proceeds.


I happened to notice that the telescope barrel had been canted downwards so that it no longer pointed at the sky but across the dunes towards alexandria quartet the city slumbered in its misty reaches of pearl cloud.

This was not unusual, for trying to catch glimpses of the highest minarets as the airs condensed and shifted was a favourite pastime. I sat on alexandria quartet three-legged stool and placed my eye to the eye-piece, to allow alexandria quartet faintly trembling and vibrating image of the landscape to assemble for me.