Marina's Reviews > Justine

Justine by Lawrence Durrell
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Jan 24, 09

bookshelves: fiction, joshua, author-male
Read in January, 2009

This started off good, the writing was great and you felt like he might try and do something with the story. I never really found myself put off by the mess of language, and the handful of allusions and direct quotes. The narrator being himself a writer surrounded by other creative and well educated types, and really it never felt pretentious for the sake of it. Slowly though, I found myself ill at ease more and more.

The feelings Durrell expresses are more then a little confused, especially the notion of the adulterer using the lover as a substitute, as some sort of go between with getting closer to the person they are cheating on. He gives a picture of women about as bland as they come: "like woman who think by biological precept and without help of reason,"(144) seemed to be one of his tenets of female behavior as well as this doozy:

"She was a walking abstract of the writers and thinkers whom she had loved or admired-- but what clever woman is more?"(203)

No thanks Mr.D. That coupled with some sort of latent undercurrent of racism and anti-semitism lurks in the background of a plotless though well written book. It was too bad to see such prose mangled by the ideas it tried to convey.
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