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The Alexandria Quartet: Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, Clea (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 16. Februar 2012

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Synopsis

Consisting of Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive and Clea, The Alexandria Quartet explores the sexual and political intrigues of a group of expatriates in Egypt before and after the Second World War. In Justine, L. G. Darley attempts to reconcile himself to the recent end of his affair with the dark, passionate, multi-faceted Justine Hosnani. Balthazar is named for Darley's friend, a doctor and mystic, and it provides a retelling of Darley's romance with Justine from a more philosophical perspective. Mountolive is the narrative of English ambassador David Mountolive. The final volume, Clea, finds Darley maturing into the knowledge that the gifted painter Clea Montis is the woman for whom he is truly destined. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Lawrence Durrell was born in 1912 in India. He attended the Jesuit College at Darjeeling and St Edmund's School, Canterbury. His first literary work, The Black Book, appeared in Paris in 1958. His first collection of poems, A Private Country, was published in 1943, followed by the three Island books: Prospero's Cell, Reflections on a Marine Venus, about Rhodes, and Bitter Lemons, his account of life in Cyprus. Durrell's wartime sojourn in Egypt led to his masterpiece, The Alexandria Quartet, which he completed in southern France where he settled permanently in 1957. Between the Quartet and The Avignon Quintet he wrote the two-decker Tunc and Nunquam. His oeuvre includes plays, a book of criticism, translations, travel writing, and humorous stories about the diplomatic corps. Caesar's Vast Ghost, his reflections on the history and culture of Provence, including a late flowering of poems, appeared a few days before his death in Sommieres in 1990.


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Format: Taschenbuch
Justine is a gallery of desperate characters, lost in the labyrinth of the self. Incapable of helping themselves or each other, they wound one another or allow themselves to be wounded, instead. In the character of Justine is the intensification of the novel, its bruised and bloody heart. The lines between cruelty and weakness blur and dissolve in her person, and we quickly learn that everyone is a victim of their own temperament, and that no one is to blame.
Justine is a book full of awful music and terrible poetry, of helpless posession and excorcism,of bitter truths & life-sustaining illusions. A pained and painful meditation on Love and, ultimately, Life.
For all of Mr. Durrell's masterfully crafted and stirring descriptions of Alexandria, the city soon falls off (like so much dead skin) and, there emerges the Human Face - grimacing.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I would have given the book a rating of 5 stars if it were not for Mountolive, the weakest book of the quartet. But, nevermind! I was not able to get a copy of balthazar after about 4 months after reading Justine. I made up my mind not to read Mountolive and Clea without first reading Balthazar. Obviously, I made the wrong choice. For the quartet presents the same story in different time and perspective. Justine was well written and beautiful. I don't know if I would be hypnotized by Justine but i do know that Clea is something else. It was a different feeling after reading Clea. I immediately set out to find her. But she is only in literature. And yet I could not get her out of my mind. The words Durrell used to describe Justine and Clea were magnificent. He did not used words like "beautiful" and "pretty". He had the uncanny ability to say those two words in infinite sentences with each word lingering to our senses long after we have read it. It was really a dishonor to Durrell and other Quartet lovers that his book was ranked very low in Modern Library's 100 best books of the century.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I would have given the book a rating of 5 stars if it were not for Mountolive, the weakest book of the quartet. But, nevermind! I was not able to get a copy of balthazar after about 4 months after reading Justine. I made up my mind not to read Mountolive and Clea without first reading Balthazar. Obviously, I made the wrong choice. For the quartet presents the same story in different time and perspective. Justine was well written and beautiful. I don't know if I would be hypnotized by Justine but i do know that Clea is something else. It was a different feeling after reading Clea. I immediately set out to find her. But she is only in literature. And yet I could not get her out of my mind. The words Durrell used to describe Justine and Clea were magnificent. He did not used words like "beautiful" and "pretty". He had the uncanny ability to say those two words in infinite sentences with each word lingering to our senses long after we have read it. It was really a dishonor to Durrell and other Quartet lovers that his book was ranked very low in Modern Library's 100 best books of the century.
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Format: Taschenbuch
When I finished the story I knew that this is one of the rare meetings of my life; for it is hard to find a similar soul. I also write novels and I think the Quartet is something you always have to follow; even though you probably never reach its perfection. At the best parts I felt some mature, beautiful spleen: bright, pure and without bitterness. It may sounds strange but among the few stories where I found something similar there are some brilliant spy stories by Graham Greene and John LeCarré. (There is only one hero in my memories who is so weak and wise at the same time: the drunk publisher Barley Scott-Blair in LeCarré's "The Russia House".) This is the view of a man who lost many precious things but found himself. You can almost hear the charming song of calm loneliness over the roofs of Alexandria. And you can learn something about love again - or if you have already experienced the dirty voices of a romantic love song, you can comfort youl guilty soul with Durrell's words.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I read Justine, the first of the Quartet, and was initially very taken with Durrell's great facility in sketching emotional landscapes, and an almost mesmerizingly poetic prose style. Unfortunately, the book is marred by quite a few blatantly racist descriptions, of black people in particular; I'll spare you the details. Surprising in a book written past the half-century mark (published in 1957, I believe) and purportedly about an ultra-cosmopolitan city.
The other problem I had was the complete implausibility of most of the dialogue; it was as if Durrell didn't know how to make his characters distinct from the narrator's own sensibility; they all talk like master prose stylists with ultra philosophical and literary bents. Some may say this was intentional stylization, but if so, it works against the book.
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Von Ein Kunde am 9. März 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
This set calls out for a personal response: I found Justine by 'accident' in a house we rented in Tuscany.
It is a novel that enthralls you, never letting you go. Very few novelists can write about love as the object itself - or of self-understanding; Justine or Nessim, Clea or the putative writer could be ordinary people but we would never know.
Durrell masterfully mixes metaphor and sets atmosphere; he is writing of world, that like the love story itself, is long part of the past. He sweeps us along with him, and we enjoy the experience of reading emotionally as well as intellectually. The success of the quartet is not only literary, but also emotional and sensual. Self-Understanding, Alienation, Coming to terms lost love, not sentimentalizing the past, building a rich tapestry of the present and hope for the future all form elements of the catharsis in this novel.
Durrell fits into a rich tradition that includes Marguerite Duras and Ford Maddox Ford -- writers who meditate on language and love using a place, a time and a notion of the 'foreign' to express their character's alienation and attempts at self-understanding.
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