Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Lawrence Durrell

Charles Trueheart in American Scholar does a substantial Durrell - useful both for those who have read the Alexandria Quartet and those who haven't and might be thinking about it - under A Seductive Spectacle ( The languid bazaar of Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet still beckons 50 years later)

On my bookshelves: Faber paperbacks of The Dark Laybrinth, Nunquam and Tunc, none of which I got very far with. Expecting to find Justine there too, but it was not. Must have read a library copy. The one thing that flashed through my mind as I set out reading this essay was the disappointing disjunction between the characters and what they thought or said. And here was the yup moment:

If Durrell’s Alexandria has a mind and soul of its own, the same is not always true for his human characters, whose exoticism and wordiness hide more than they reveal. The more Durrell tells us about them, perversely, the fuzzier they become. He was carefree, or careless, about imputing thoughts and behaviors to characters as the spirit moved him, not as their integrity would demand.

Looking for something else on AQ found these essays by Rexroth written between 1957-60. The Trueheart would not be enough on its own.

There are a few snippets here in the Google sample of Lawrence Durrell: Conversations
By Lawrence Durrell
, Earl G. Ingersoll, though some twit has copied a few pages upside down. You could tip the monitor upside down.


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