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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If you can’t do the trick with the one you’ve got, why, shut your eyes and imagine the one you can’t get.

I imagine it will have to be one based on a calculated ignorance, because, stubbornly, I still do not want to confess that I should have seen it coming and that authors are just people. So much else to write.

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

In the words of Clea: We have another element in which Durrell can explore the process of creativity and its cost. I had to stop myself from licking the page to get another scent or taste of Alexandria.

Love joins and then divides. I came to Durrell via Henry Miller, an author who stands out for causing me more personal and artistic trouble than any other. My goal is to get through all four books this year, but it is definitely slower going since I’m using the audio version. Love is a perceived, but inadequate, prop: The narrative momentum forward is counter-sprung by references backwards in time, giving the impression of a book which is not travelling from a tomb but standing above time and turning slowly on its own axis to comprehend the whole pattern.

The book is clearer than Justine in several respects, as though emerging from smoke into light. Since one of the interesting aspects of Justine is the way in which the woman is a symbol for the city of Alexandria, to reassess her and the affair is for Durrell to reassess his view of the Egyptian port.

He really was the right man for her durrel a sort of way; but balthazae as you know, it is a law of love that the so-called ‘right’ person always comes to soon or too late. At the level of Time and Space, the work can be construed durrell evidence of a continuity between the concerns of Modernism and Post-Modernism. 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.


It makes for a nice set of parallel motifs: The four novels follow this pattern.

Kill the piece and move on. However, having finished it, I don’t really think of it as dkrrell wholly different work. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. A single chance factor has altered everything, has turned me back upon my tracks. In my early notes, before I got to book two and learned of the accusations against him, I wrote: I have had to come so far lawrennce from it in order to understand it all!

My memory of the first is now irreversibly altered by the experience of the second. Willow Wilson in the middle of listening to this novel. This adds to her rurrell and her mystery, because we learn that this other author never figured Justine out either.

Balthasar by Lawrence Durrell | : Books

I am thinking back to the time when for the four of us the known world hardly existed; days became simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time, of acting, of living out the topical. And there is still the rich color and cadence of Durrell’s descriptive language, a little overdone perhaps, but full of surprising word-choices and sharp observations, especially when capturing sounds: The clumsy coupling of human beings is simply a biological paraphrase of this truth.

Not that Darley could have known. I adore something about these books. If so, would I see evidence between the lines of the Quartet? As an endpiece to this novel like the notes that form Justine’s afterword, Durrell includes some supposed quotations from novelist character Pursewarden in Wildean vein; among them is a little barb at those who take literature too seriously. What emerges in his sessions with the psychiatrist Balthazar, however, is something far more complex—and unfathomably more sinister—than neurosis.

Or should the dispositions remain the same, the characters remain the same – and is it only truth itself which has changed in contradiction? He is giving the story depth.


Sometimes they did wander over to seeming strained — did out flowing just overflow and the mind couldn’t rethink, rewrite — observe and critique itself?

I should also say up front that Balthazar seems a durrrell reliable narrator and is full of information, but while he fills in many of the blanks in Justine he also seems equally reticent to ‘tell all.

Lawrence Durrell was born in in India. Essentially, this is the book in which religion and politics have their way with the cast of characters. Narrator Jack Klaff makes great efforts to distinguish between characters but sometimes that makes me really hate the time we spend with some of them.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here It djrrell cross-hatched, crabbed, starred with questions and balthazr in different coloured inks, in typescript. The effective addition of a second narrator Balthazar means that not everything is filtered through Darley’s sensibility, so other characters durrlel greater individuality through the cross-lighting.

Or, as Balthazar writes to the narrator, his manuscript could be described as “some medieval palimpsest where different sorts lawrenve truth are thrown down one upon the other, the one obliterating or perhaps supplementing another. There must balthazsr at least a few artistic gods to worship.

Really, the writing is just incredible. Want to Read saving…. We see Darley looking through his drafts and exercise books as he writes about his life and friends in Alexandria.

Not to force time, as the weak do, for that spells self-injury and dismay, but to harness its rhythms and put them to our own use. Because, there’s no pretense. I planned to celebrate what I had heard was an amazing series of books, and I loved the first, but then, halfway through the second, I got some bad news via email: The Great Interlinear Like “Justine”, this novel is a composite of diverse fictional contributions.