Wednesday, February 15

Balthazar - Lawrence Durrell (1958)


Wikipedia - "Balthazar, published in 1958, is the second volume in The Alexandria Quartet series by British author Lawrence Durrell. Set in Alexandria, Egypt around World War II, the four novels tell essentially the same story from different points of view and come to a conclusion in Clea. Balthazar is the first novel in the series that presents a competing narrator, Balthazar, who writes back to the narrating Darley in his 'great interlinear.' ... The book begins with the Narrator living on a remote Greek island with Nessim's illegitimate daughter from Melissa (now either four or six years old – marking the time that has elapsed since the events of Justine); however the tone is very dark and opposed to the light and airy reminiscence of Prospero's Cell – Durrell's travelogue-memoir of his life on Corfu. The prolonged nature-pieces, which are a highlight of Durrell's prose, still intervene between straight linear narrative – but are uniformly of askesis and alone-ness – and have a more pronounced 'prose-painting' feel to them pre-figuring Clea. ..."
Wikipedia
NY Times: Alexandria Revisited (August 21, 1958)
Pseudo-Intellectual Reviews

2011 December: The Alexandria Quartet - Lawrence Durrell, 2013 September: Villa that inspired Lawrence Durrell faces demolition, as Egypt allows heritage to crumble, 2014 August: Prospero’s Cell (1945), 2015 April: Bitter Lemons (1953–1956), 2015 May: Caesar's Vast Ghost: Aspects of Provence, 2016 July: Reflections on a Marine Venus (1953), 2016 September: The Greek Islands, 2016 October: Justine (1957)

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