Balthazar. Genre: Literary Fiction. Balthazar. By: Lawrence Durrell In Darley’s conversations with Balthazar, a doctor and mystic, it soon becomes clear . The dazzling second volume of The Alexandria Quartet—an enthralling and deeply disturbing work of gorgeous surfaces and endless deceptions. In. nce again, in what he calls a “sibling” to his first-rate novel, “Justine,” and is the second volume of a promised tetralogy, Lawrence Durrell writes of modern.

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Balthazar understood that it was in the nature of Alexandrians to seek a reconciliation between extreme sensuality and extreme asceticism which was why they were hysterics and extremists. Durrell was not well-liked. In the description of the aftermath of his death, the denizens of Scobie’s quarter ransack his house, steal his meagre possessions and drink all the bootleg arak he has been distilling in his bathtub. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

There is also a novelist named Pursewarden who has died, and while I don’t particularly remember him being mentioned in Justine he is a key figure lawrencce this book.

Published February 19th by Sudamericana first published He attended the Jesuit College at Darjeeling and St. And there in lays the most prevalent theme of the novel: So much else to write. We learn more about Pursewarden loosely based on Wyndham Lewis.

I love the ache in the language here, the yearning to remember in order to understand the conflicts that took place in this mystical city. The clumsy coupling of human beings is simply a biological paraphrase of this truth. This section is about carnival time in Alexandria, and a murder that happened during the height of Darley’s affair with Justine — although not mentioned in the earlier novel, at all.


Darley has sent Balthazar the manuscript for Book 1, and Book 2 now replays some of the same narrative some things are missing, some new details are added, some facts are contradicted, new facts are discovered. Which really makes one want to go back and read Justine again and re-evaluate events we already thought we knew.

Balthazar (novel) – Wikipedia

This section is given over to reminiscences of Clea in which Balthazar reveals to Darley that while he had short-sightedly been caught up in his intrigue with Justine, and lawrenfe solace from its emotional fall-out in the arms of Melissa — the person who “really loved” him was Clea.

Balthazar understood that it was in the nature of Alexandrians to seek a reconciliation between extreme sensuality and extreme asceticism which was why they were The Alexandra Quartet is not a set of four novels but rather a composition for balthaazr voices.

Last of all, am I not in some way meant to learn something about my humanity from this reading and writing experience?

Lawrence Durrell, Layer by Layer Towards the Creation of a Palimpsest Balthazar explains his motive for writing the Interlinear in terms of the quest for truth: It was crosshatched, crabbed, starred with questions and answers in different-coloured inks, in typescript. It might even be argued that the success of Justine is entirely due to its balthaazar the public’s expectations of what a novel is supposed to be about, and look like — although the distinct authorial voice and the stylistic magnificence had no small part to play in its enduring fascination for the discerning prose reader.

Durrell himself has a grand intellectual and artistic scheme at work in the quartet which, in these days of novels as commodities, seems almost laerence precious. Its very nature and purpose is to tweek “Justine”. I’m going to be sad when I finish this quartet. There is also a long section about the annual carnival and masque at which a murder takes place.


Spoiler, Or, A Reckoning with Sentimental Habits By Way of Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet

All the above details appear in a stretch of about eight pages. I invented these terms: The Hosnani plotlines contain hundreds of wonderful details.

Durrell’s masterly prose is further enriched by germinating characters and maturing plots. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The young fall into rapturous embraces with the very old. Delicate, impressionistic, nearly plotless, and with a weird-as-hell carnival scene towards the end, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of mint-tea-served-by-a-Levantine-androgyne.

This leads to two deaths and twenty-two severe poisonings — which Durrell calls ‘Scobie leaving a mark on the world’. A Memory Reflected in a Mirror Durrell indulges in much more description of both the psychic and the physical landscape.

Balthazar – Lawrence Durrell

These metaphysical and metafictional concerns are often associated with Post-Modernism. And there, lying upon the table in the yellow lamplight, lay the great interlinear to Justine —as I had called it.

Industrious monks scraping away an elegy to make room for a verse of Holy Writ Soon we shall marry and live in filthy compatibility, feasting on each other’s blackheads. I am not sure that they all become more likable—in durrelll, there is one scene with Clea near the end which strains my previous view of her as a hovering angel—but it is easier to understand them. These considerations sound perhaps somewhat immodest or even pompous.

The city of Alexandria might be a metaphor for life and perhaps for the individual as well, but he must escape it in balthaazar to know himself.