Justine The time is the eve of the Second World War The place is Alexandria an Egyptian city that once housed the world s greatest library and whose inhabitants are still dedicated to knowledge But for the o

The time is the eve of the Second World War The place is Alexandria, an Egyptian city that once housed the world s greatest library and whose inhabitants are still dedicated to knowledge But for the obsessed and purblind characters in this mesmerizing first novel of the Alexandria Quartet, the pursuit of knowledge leads to no library, only to the bedrooms in which each sThe time is the eve of the Second World War The place is Alexandria, an Egyptian city that once housed the world s greatest library and whose inhabitants are still dedicated to knowledge But for the obsessed and purblind characters in this mesmerizing first novel of the Alexandria Quartet, the pursuit of knowledge leads to no library, only to the bedrooms in which each seeks to know and possess the other Since its publication in 1957, Justine has inspired an almost religious devotion among readers and critics It is not so much a book as it is a self contained universe, constructed by one of the most elegant and formidably intelligent minds in contemporary fiction.

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  1. Lawrence George Durrell was a critically hailed and beloved novelist, poet, humorist, and travel writer best known for The Alexandria Quartet novels, which were ranked by the Modern Library as among the greatest works of English literature in the twentieth century A passionate and dedicated writer from an early age, Durrell s prolific career also included the groundbreaking Avignon Quintet, whose first novel, Monsieur 1974 , won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and whose third novel, Constance 1982 , was nominated for the Booker Prize He also penned the celebrated travel memoir Bitter Lemons of Cyprus 1957 , which won the Duff Cooper Prize Durrell corresponded with author Henry Miller for forty five years, and Miller influenced much of his early work, including a provocative and controversial novel, The Black Book 1938 Durrell died in France in 1990.

831 Reply to “Justine”

  1. In the great quietness of these winter evenings there is one clock the sea It s dim momentum in the mind is the fugue upon which this writing is made Empty cadences of sea water licking it s own wounds,sulking along the mouths of the delta, boiling upon those deserted beaches empty under the gulls white scribble on the grey, munched by clouds Lawrence Durrell, JustineSometimes you discover a new author and know you re going to be friends for life A one sided friendship but you know you ll be bet [...]

  2. I woke too soon Unfortunately, I think that s the problem with this one I feel like someone getting surgery who has gotten an insufficient dose of anesthesia, or someone who opens her eyes wide in the midst of a hypnotist act I really wasn t looking to make you look bad, and quite frankly I d prefer it if you d put me back to sleep, but here I am, nonetheless, looking at you Durrell feels like he was put in charge of the puppet show before he was ready This is a test product, not something FDA a [...]

  3. For Once Four Was Too Few for a QuartetI decided to re read Justine after something like 30 years before starting the subsequent books of The Alexandria Quartet for the first time.As much as I enjoyed the novel, I suspect that it will acquire even greater meaning and resonance once I ve finished the Quartet.Each volume of the Quartet is named after one of the members of the narrator s peer group in pre war Alexandria The first page mentions four friends Justine and Nessim, Melissa and Balthazar [...]

  4. I have been meaning to read the Alexandria Quartet for many years and now seems to be a good time The first part of the Quartet focuses on a struggling writer Darley it tells in retrospect the story of a doomed love affair between Darley and Justine, the wife of an Egyptian Copt called Nessim It is set in Alexandria and there is a strong supporting cast of characters Pombal, an official at the French consulate who lives with Darley Capodistria, a Greek who is a broker Scobie, a transvestite Purs [...]

  5. This book is suffused with wistful nostalgia, with Mediterranean languor and the love and lust of yesterday I lived in Egypt many years ago and this book brought back my own nostalgic memories of carefree youth So perhaps I m a biased reader But who isn t

  6. Concise Summary The book is difficult Words such as immoral sophistry and highbrow drivel come to mind The last part induced me to raise the rating from one to two stars In this part Lawrence Durrell switches from excessive philosophizing to a resolution to the characters egotistical behavior Things actually happen we see what these people have brought down on themselves In fact there ARE some wonderful descriptions.There is no humor.I fail to believe that Lawrence Durrell delivers a balanced vi [...]

  7. As you most likely know, this is the first book of Lawrence Durrell s acclaimed Alexandria Quartet What is it about Stupid question Unless by about you mean, what does it feel like It feels like a warm, ancient, beautiful, decaying, diverse, passionate, decadent city that seems to permeate the lives of its inhabitants, most of whom seem obsessed with sex So it is a lot about sex and what it means, and how it relates to love and manipulation, and if any of this has any moral basis There is at lea [...]

  8. This book is not without merit It has some real gems sentences or ideas that are wonderful and crystallize clearly something which is true about the world.Loving is so much truer when sympathy and not desire makes the match for it leaves no wounds.Or Lovers are never equally matched do you think One always overshadows the other and stunts his or her growth so that the overshadowed one must always be tormented by a desire to escape, to be free to grow Surely this is the only tragic thing about lo [...]

  9. Dedication To EVE these memorials of her native cityOpening The sea is high today, with a thrilling flush of wind In the midst of winter you can feel the inventions of spring.Beautiful writing going on here P.21 phthsic definition 1 Variant of phthisis.2 Archaic Any illness of the lungs or throat, such as asthma or a cough Middle English ptisike, from Old French ptisique, from phthisicus, consumptive, from Greek phthisikos, from phthisis, wasting away, consumption see phthisis.P 64 Mouseion a pl [...]

  10. Lawrence Durrell s writing is a shimmering beauty, and he makes you wish for a piece of his Alexandria as much as you want to pity and love and embrace his characters His descriptions and observations of the human condition are as deep as that of any philosopher, and when his prose hits that high note, well, you are left dazzled But I wouldn t lie that it is a straight forward book and the story falls in place with each page flipped, but a concentrated reading will be well worth it It is indeed [...]

  11. I pored toga to me je u vi e navrata ujeo za srce, Darel je odli an pisac i ovo je odli an roman Narativa pozitivno nedefinisana, nabacana tako da se dalja i bli a i najdalja i najbli a pro lost me aju sa sada njo u na jedan potpuno mani an, a opet veoma pitak, organski na in Psihologija likova i to kakvih bez psihoterapije kojoj je kao kontrast vrlo sklon pisac romana u romanu Upe atljive slike i cela ona razvratna atmosfera karakteristi na za npr grupu umetnika u Pin onovom V ne bi me udilo da [...]

  12. A CIDADEDisseste Vou partir para outra terra, vou partir para outro mar Uma outra cidade melhor do que esta encontrar se Cada esfor o meu um malogro escrito est e como morto enterrado o meu cora o A minha mente at quando ir ficar nesta estagna o Para onde quer que eu olhe, para onde quer que eu fite por a ru nas negras da minha vida vejo aqui, onde tantos anos passei e dizimei e dei em estragar.Lugares novos n o vais encontrar, n o encontrar outros mares A cidade seguir te De volta pelos caminho [...]

  13. This is my third time reading this book, but this time I listened It was amazing how much of the words I had internalized, and I found myself smiling along with some of the parts that were familiar I m looking forward to actually finishing the quartet this time around fingers crossed and reading the other parts of the story The narrator does a decent job although some of the voices are so heavily accented they are almost hard to understand The audiobook also had a track at the end where a Durrel [...]

  14. These are the moments which are not calculable, and cannot be assessed in words they live on in the solution of memory, like wonderful creatures, unique of their own kind, dredged up from the floors of some unexplored ocean.Full review of sorts will ensue when the tetralogy is completed.

  15. Having just thrown away Dave Eggers Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius I was in the market for a book that read like it was trying Like it was making an effort Like it was really bloody worn out from wanting to be read And thanks to my friend Michael, who always lends me the highbrow books, I ve discovered Lawrence Durrell Durrell, whose brother Gerald was the author of My Family and Other Animals, which as a child I grew up watching on the BBC, is the author of the intimidating sounding Al [...]

  16. Linda lent me a beautiful vintage set of Durrell s Alexandria Quartet I had said something about loving DH Lawrence lately She said they are similar And it sounded so good set in an exotic locale, an interesting time, a much lauded writer, and a friend of Henry Miller to boot How could I go wrong I think I ve been reading this thing for two weeks but I can t bring myself to finish it It is a little story of uninteresting little people engaging in petty soap opera dramas because they are hopeless [...]

  17. Tik vilino i s cies, v l k is darbs mani nogurdin ja ar rk rt gi gariem m in jumiem aprakst t un psiholo iski filozofiski izanaliz t Just nes person bu T ar nesp ju vi u ne ieraudz t ne saprast Ar citiem t liem veic s drusku lab k, tom r visveiksm g k ir san kusi pils ta Visp r rom ns par da u cilv ku toksisku aps st bu eksotisk pils t N kamais rom ns cikl sola Baltazara filozofisko skat jumu uz o m lasst stu aubos, vai tam man pietiks sp ka.Piln atsauksme gramatas.wordpress 2017 0 Beig s pat, a [...]

  18. Justine is not an easy book by any standard the language is often baroque, the underlying ideas complex and challenging but it is one of those rare, brilliant novels that creates an entire self contained universe The lost world of multinational, pluralistic pre war Alexandria, Egypt comes to life in all of its mysterious romance Durrell has a particular talent for crafting memorable minor characters Mnemjian, the kyphotic barber Capodistria, the one eyed lecher, Clea, a celibate lesbian who pain [...]

  19. This will be a pleasing read for those who enjoy language than plot The writing is luscious and strange, the subject matter slightly decadent It reminded me of A Rebours by Joris Karl Huysmans, and sure enough, somewhere near the end a character is reading A Rebours The unnamed narrator, a writer and teacher, is living in Alexandria, Egypt prior to World War II He has affairs with a woman named Melissa and a married woman named Justine, and friendships with a homosexual, Balthazar, Justine s hu [...]

  20. I absolutely adored this book At the start I had to adjust to the flourish of the language used but once I started, I felt sucked into it with an amazing force by the beauty of the words The setting is very romantic, Egypt in the 1930 s and the central character, although a teacher by profession, is part of a social circle of wealthy and creative individuals whose lives are intertwined They seem to have all the time in the world to spend with each other contemplating life, love and creativity Th [...]

  21. Kitapla ilgili ne yazaca m ger ekten bilemiyorum nk sevdim mi sevmedim mi ondan bile emin de ilim hen z San r m ne hissetti imi tam olarak anlayabilmem i in zerinden biraz zaman ge mesi gerekecek Bu zaman ge ene kadar da skenderiye D rtl s ne devam edemeyece im gibi g r n yor

  22. This book is one beautiful, superbly crafted sentence, after another, after another They read like aphorisms, beatitudes, making the reader pause to absorb each one, to weigh it for truth.To wit The lover mirrors himself like Narcissus in his own family there is no exit from the predicament We use each other like axes to cut down the ones we really love We have been told so often that history is indifferent, but we always take its parsimony or plenty as somehow planned we never really listen Shy [...]

  23. We are all hunting for rational reasons for believing in the absurd voice of Balthazar p 92I kept going back and forth on this one At times, the over inflated language actually worked and it was able to touch on something profound and or beautiful But often, the language was a hindrance It was too much, too whipped up, too humorlessly serious and gaudy, that it was hard to take it seriously especially when he is just talking about something trivial it would ve been better if the language would [...]

  24. I first read Justine when I was in high school I read it for the sex I don t think I got much else from it except that it was a tragic love story set in the fascinating city of Alexandria, Egypt Rereading it was a revelation Durrell s writing is exquisite though in another way so desultory that I could only read about thirty pages before falling into a deep sleep, no matter the time of day But the characters Justine herself is a deeply troubled woman who refuses to respond to psychoanalysis For [...]

  25. Two couples Justine and Nessim, Melissa and Balthazar Then the narrator The male narrator had an affair both with Justine and Melissa although he is a friend to Nessim and an acquaintance to Balthazar Melissa fell in love with Nessim and told him that his wife, Justine was no longer faithful to him Justine was raped and disappeared His rapist was found dead Towards the end of the story, Clea, an lesbian writer wrote to the narrator that Justine re appeared in the hospital Clea was working at The [...]

  26. Due to my anal retentiveness and insistence on finishing most everything I start, I m sometimes not as ambitious when it comes to picking up really big books Justine isn t itself that large, but it is just the first volume in a 1,000 page tetralogy And it s spectacular.It reads as an odd m lange of A Sheltering Sky mixed with the strongly internal character development of writers like Woolf and Proust As in A Sheltering Sky, the most important character isn t a person at all, but a place Alexand [...]

  27. The writing could be very poetic at times, but overall this book was just not to my taste A bit too much musing and philosophizing by the narrator for me, and I didn t connect with the characters so in the end I didn t care one way or the other what happened to each of them I don t see myself continuing on with the remaining three books in this series.

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