It is impossible to discuss this fourth volume in Durrell's Alexandria Quartet Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive apart from It is impossible to discuss this fourth volume in Durrell's Alexandria Quartet Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive apart from the others, as it would be difficult to read it without having read the others. But the initiated will find themselves happily engulfed once more from the opening sentences. The first three novels encompassed the same material and time, with sundry plots and counterplots of both a personal and a political nature in the period leading up to World War II. Each was told from a different angle.
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Alexandria Quartet , British literature , Lawrence Durrell , literature , review. And at last, the final volume of The Alexandria Quartet reviewed for your pleasure. War is upon the world and it is only with a summons from Nessim that he returns to a much different Alexandria though still unchanged in the essentials , hoping to at last exorcise its hold over him.
This is pages of who gets hitched, who dies and who moves away. Clea is a meandering stream after the tidal flood of the previous volumes. Perhaps it is inevitable that I am disappointed. On the other hand, the sketches are usually beautifully rendered. Nevertheless her story is a pitiful one. Thence an uncharitable view springs up every time his blasted books are mentioned; he IS all hat and no cattle. Depending on your perspective, the conclusion will appear either cleansing and life-embracing or a further stultification, a giving in to decadence in a world gone to war.
When will we all grow up? It is still a moving work, it is uncertain of answers, still walks the knife-edge of melodrama, reads exquisitely, glitches over pretentious pseudo-philosophical babble and contains multitudes.
Darley is the one who has changed the most, no longer dogged in pursuit of answers, willing instead to allow life to progress at its own pace and to offer solitude to those who need it. This parting was… well, it was only like changing the bandages until a wound should heal. And so I would conclude that, though somewhat less enjoyable than the first three, Clea is a worthwhile conclusion.
I would have preferred it more focused. A delight almost as deep as the bondage of kisses — to enter the rhythm of the waters together, responding to each other and the play of the long tides. Clea had always been a fine swimmer, I a poor one.
But thanks to my period spent in Greece I too was now expert, more than a match for her. Underwater we played and explored the submarine world of the pool, as thoughtlessly as fishes on the fifth day of the Creation. Eloquent and silent water-ballets which allowed us to correspond only by smile and gesture.
The water-silences captured and transformed everything human in movement, so that we were like the coloured projections of undines painted upon these brilliant screens of rock and weed, echoing and copying the water-rhythms. Here thought itself perished, was converted into a fathomless content in physical action. That can speak for itself. Someday: The Avignon Quintet. Right now: Jeeves and Wooster. Just what the doctor ordered…. Brett Todd said:. June 24, at am.
And personally, I keep wondering how much of the relationship between Darley and Pursewarden is meant to mirror that of Miller and Durrell….
I hope you will enjoy Avignon… it is a tough novel, not as brilliantly written, but much more ambitious and therefore capable of falling far….
I am in the process of re-reading it and enjoying it quite a bit. June 24, at pm. The sort that Durrell used in this case felt like half-formed assertions flung on paper without any attempt made to back them up.
But as you say, each to his own. Durrell is far too talented and interesting for me to stop here. Chris Robertson said:. January 12, at pm. Thank you for your review. Also, thanks Brett for your sage comment. I understand that there are at least two sound biographies of Lawrence Durrell I and wish to read one of them.
In your oinion which is the better? Regards, Chris Robertson. October 7, at pm. But your choice of a antidote to reading such heavy stuff is brilliant—P. Durrell was so famous for? In fact I had read and re-read these books long before I even knew that his brother referred to as Larry in these books was actually the more serious and in some circles more famous, author. Adam Clifford said:.
January 23, at pm. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading Brett, thank you for such an in-depth comment.
Clea by Lawrence Durrell
Like all young men I set out to be a genius, but mercifully laughter intervened. Wow, I didn't expect such a sudden dislike. Allow me to retreat to my hutch to scratch together a review. Not a lot of plot but great prose, almost Wolfean. A good example of mid-century British writing describing friends and experiences in an Alexandria that no longer exists. Lawrence Durrell. The magnificent final volume of one of the most widely acclaimed fictional masterpieces of the postwar era.
Clea – Lawrence Durrell
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Published by E. Seller Rating:. About this Item: E. Condition: Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition.