Mr.'s Reviews > Justine

Justine by Lawrence Durrell
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Oct 06, 2008

it was amazing

In the lost city of Alexandria a group of ex-patriots fall into a life of mysticism and sensuality. The opening novel of Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria quartet is a highly polished and intriguing work which tends to create a life of its own as one gets into it. Although Durrell's prose is clearly out of style, the intricate design and rhythm of life he has created in this imaginary place is truly a great achievement. The object of fascination in this introductory work is Justine, the beautiful Jewess of everyone's fancy. Durrell is dealing with post-WWII relativism and the need for Europeans to return 'to an earlier state of things' in the Freudian sense. He has created a complex interweaving of characters; they have escaped their own landscape, but unlike the existentialists, Durrell's portrait insists that true freedom is an illusion.
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