Tuesday, May 2

Clea - Lawrence Durrell (1960)


"In Clea (1960) we finally gain a true sequel to the story thus far. Darley narrates again, but a wiser Darley than when last heard from. With the passing of years he has had ample time to reflect; he’s a hermit still, raising the child in comfortable solitude. 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. Clea’s function in the narrative is as a clearing of the board, an attempt to set in order all the lives flung about by the earlier events. The triumph is not of truth (as Henry James said, 'the whole of anything can never be told') but of pragmatism. It functions as a book-length epilogue – the 'story' and its finale have already been told and retold. This is 200 pages of who gets hitched, who dies and who moves away. With Justine and Mountolive as two impeccable dramatic narratives, Clea pairs off with Balthazar as a series of disconnected sketches meant to fill in the blanks with further guesswork. ..."
Pseudo-Intellectual Reviews
Spoiler, Or, A Reckoning with Sentimental Habits By Way of Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet
W - Clea
NY Times

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), 2017 February: Balthazar (1958), 2017 April: Mountolive (1958)

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