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The Alexandria quartet : love as metaphysical enquiry Johnston, Elizabeth Lee 1976-02-10

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THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET: LOVE AS METAPHYSICAL ENQUIRY by ELIZABETH LEE JOHNSTON 3.A., Sir George Williams University, 1974 THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 1976 (fc\ Elizabeth Lee Johnston, 1976 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of <f-K gj 1 > < U The University of British Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V.6T 1W5 Date cTcx.,x tl ^ 1% n 1 1 ABSTRACT This thesis is based on a conviction that Lawrence Durrell's The  Alexandria Quartet is a metaphysical romance in a truly modern sense; a parable which uses the terminology of modern psychology and romantic love to describe a search for gnosis, or self-knowledge. The characters are prototypes whose enemies are the warring forces within the psyche: the romantic imagination, which manufactures the Illusions of love, and the intellectual examination which may destroy the illusion, but leaves nothing in its place. Durrell shows that his prototype characters must learn to value the naked experience of an emotional moment with a balanced spontaneity of perception divorced from the extremes of both the romantic imagination and the intellect. The first chapter describes the psychological equilibrium which Durrell calls "the heraldic universe," which is concretized by statements from The Black Book, excerpts from Durrell's poems and allusions (from The Alexandria Quartet) to C. P. Cavafy, D. H. Lawrence and C. G. Jung. The final paragraphs deal with the dual approach to character and the corresponding polarities of the landscape of Alexandria. The second chapter concentrates on Durrell's use of the novel for therapeutic enquiry, as a means of looking at the dark side of the psyche. The chapter explains the relation of the Quartet to moral allegory as - i -) well as its concern with the dualism of instinct and ideal, reason and passion, which Aldous Huxley and Wyndham Lewis describe in a more expository style. The third chapter contrasts the destructive will-to-power and the passion of political conspirators with the creative will of the poet and artist, the seeker after self-identity. The final paragraphs deal with images of madness and psychic disintegration resulting from obsessional love. The fourth chapter discusses the major characters in relation to the life of their imaginations. In the case of the writers in the Quartet, the literary imagination distorts perceptions of love and experience. Pursewarden, the central artistic figure, is viewed in relation to the other prototypes who make a "story" out of their lives. The final chapter attempts to show that Clea is a culmination of a psychological battle within the characters, an active drama instead of a reflection upon emotional experience. Love becomes depersonalized, a force which exists apart from the egotism of personality. TABLE OF CONTENTS Page INTRODUCTION TO THE LOVE THEME 1 CHAPTER I. DURRELL'S PHILOSOPHY AND THE HERALDIC 4 CHAPTER II. PERSONALITY CREATION: THE NOVEL AS THERAPEUTIC INQUIRY 16 CHAPTER III. DESTRUCTIVE LOVE A. Passion and The Will 37 B. Madness and The Image 44 CHAPTER IV. CHARACTERS A. Darley 50 B. Pursewarden — and Relation to Other Characters 6 C. Melissa 67 D. Clea and Balthazar 70 E. Variations on the Holy Man 73 CHAPTER V. THE BATTLE OF CLEA 76 FOOTNOTES 90 BIBLIOGRAPHY 4 - iii -Philosophical poetry plays a very special part between philosophy and religion, and science. It may now be said that what was once called "philosophy" no longer exists. The name has remained as a general label covering various kinds of researches such as sociology, psychology, logic, etc. Nothing corresponds any longer to what, scientifically speaking, formed the connecting link — metaphysics .... Metaphysics carried into the scientific realm conceptions which really belong to the domain of the will. These metaphysical ideas cannot claim to have a place in science, but is that a reason for refusing to consider them? They belong to another order of truth: artistic truth. — Denis Saurat from Literature and Occult Tradition:  Studies in Philosophical Poetry I had the illusion that when one loves, just as when we create human children, we create a permanent image of love like an iron statue by a sculptor. I was horrified to discover that the image the other person carried within him bore no resemblance to one's own, or that it could be annihilated by another love, or by a misunderstanding, or a distortion, or a failure of memory. This gave me a foretaste of death. We were not enshrined in the other's heart, and the one we loved was often immured, alone, separate from us. The war destroyed our illusion of a strong, unshatterable intimate world of personal loves. — Anais Nin from The Diary of Anais Nin - iv -INTRODUCTION TO THE LOVE THEME In The Alexandria Quartet love as a form of "metaphysical enquiry"""" means a search for self-knowledge within a psychological equilibrium which is not displaced by either the characters' unavoidably relative perception or by the fixity of the absolutes they choose to worship (Love, Art, Power). The philosophic Durrell, visible behind the ironic humorist, asks himself and the reader of The Alexandria Quartet: Is there a balance to be found between the subjective illusions of the romantic imagination and the objective cynicism of intellectualized love? In the artistic sphere the question translates: Is there a literary equilibrium between the lyric mysticism of D. H. Lawrence's treatment of the love theme and the prescriptive essayism of Aldous Huxley and Wyndham Lewis? The love theme is not a romantic decoration superimposed upon the theme of the maturation of an artist. Durrell's idea of the "heraldic universe" demands a brutally honest preservation of naked experience. Heraldic vision necessitates an exposure of emotional frailty, stripped of the protection afforded by art and the temptation to compromise which constitutes accepted morality. The poems of C. P. Cavafy are perfect examples of this stark but loving emotional honesty. Preservation of non-rationalized emotion creates the truly loving relationship between individuals, or between an individual and his surrounding. - 1 -2 In the romantic spectacle of The Alexandria Quartet love is autonomous; something visited upon the characters rather than created by them. What they do create are the illusions of unity and shared destiny fostered by the romantic imagination. The definition of love as "every sort of conspiracy" is a commentary upon Justine's declaration that she "knows" Nessim, "while the power of riches and intrigue stirred 2 within her now, the deputies of passion." Only the possession of these "deputies" allows Justine to glimpse passion itself. In Clea, when Darley realizes that his image of Justine was a product of this same romantic imagination, he suggests the definition of man as "a poet perpetually conspiring against himself" (C, 694) . Relativity of perception becomes the enemy of the poet-man: "('Perception is shaped like an embrace —' the poison enters with the embrace' as Pursewarden writes") (C_, 694) . Heraldic vision is a form of perception which is not analytical, in which the lover's concentration does not displace or distort the love-object into an impossible fiction. For Durrell this problem of imagination and perception becomes uniquely modern — a vision of the rationalization of love in a sadistically introverted mental world. In the literary sphere Durrell's complaint is ironically summarized by Pursewarden in his "Notes to Brother Ass": "But if you wish to enlarge the image turn to Europe, the Europe which spans, say, Rabelais to de Sade. A progress from the belly-consciousness to the head-consciousness, from flesh and food to sweet (sweetI) reason. Accompanied by all the inter-changing ills which mock us. A progress from religious ecstasy to duodenal ulcer!" (C^, 757). 3 Jung (Modern Man in Search of a. Soul) felt that in the past "psychic life always found expression in a metaphysical system of some sort. But the conscious, modern man, despite his strenuous and dogged efforts to do so, can no longer refrain from acknowledging the might of psychic 3 forces." Darley sees Balthazar as one of the keys to the city of Alexandria (J_, 78). Balthazar's attempt to escape his inverted sexuality through the Cabal fails miserably because he is trying to deny the interdependence of mind and body — in his own words, "letting my love poison my intellect and my intellectual reservations my love" (OJ, 706) . Narouz' preaching leads to a loss of humility, an involvement with the "powers of darkness" (J_, 144) . in life or art, instincts and psychic forces must be accepted and lived out, not contained within a search for abstract truth. Pursewarden, addressing Darley in the "Notes," endorses the technical mastery of the art of writing, but emphasizes that "a great writer is the servant of compulsions which are ordained by the very structure of the psyche and cannot be disregarded" (Cj, 758) . These compulsions must be not merely faced, but confronted, if Durrell's prototype characters are to defeat their own servitude to obsession and analysis. CHAPTER I DURRELL'S PHILOSOPHY AND THE HERALDIC In the individualist art of the modern Romantic, love becomes a self-reflecting mirror for the lover, who, in the process of observing his own conflicts and illusions personifies the aim of this type of artist: "not to express himself in his work, but to get to know himself by it."4 Rank sees the artist's use of psychoanalytic theories as a last attempt to find an artistic ideology other than self-confession. This new artistic personality will be free to find a new form in which to create and cast aside traditional structures. Durrell conjures up several variations of Rank's prototype artist for The Quartet. He depicts Arnauti, who depends on psychoanalysis and confession, and Pursewarden, who paraphrases Rank with "The object of writing is to grow a personality which in the end enables man to transcend art." Balthazar describes Pursewarden's strange ideas about the make-up of the psyche with the example, "I regard it as completely unsubstantial as a rainbow — it only coheres into identifiable states and attributes when attention is focused on it. The truest form of right attention is of course love. Thus 'people' are as much of an illusion to the mystic as 'matter' to the physicist when he is regarding it as a form of energy" (B_, 306) . The last sentence in this quotation suggests a problem common to mystic, scientist, writer and lover: only concentration on small identifiable - 4 -5 units of energy allows him to see "people" or "matter." If the area of attention is enlarged the accepted human and material absolutes disappear. "Right attention" makes love the strongest absolute and the most easily destroyed by concentration and possession. Darley personifies the conflict between perception and emotion when he writes books describing what Pursewarden calls the "soul states of the human omelette" (C, 751). In The Black Book Lawrence Lucifer explains that by "heraldic" he means a "painted annihilation," a condition in which the actions he and his fellows perform are part of a fiction in which their "selves" are simply the "projections of an idea."^ The poet's world should be a vital archetypal! image instead of a "painted annihilation." The disparity between the positive and negative modes of perception is illustrated by the contrasting views of the folklore lovers Yuna and Aziz. In Balthazar, the reader first meets them as part of Narouz' experience at the festival of Sitna Miriam. They inhabit a carnival booth as sugar figurines brilliant with tinsel" (B_, 313) . But in the "Notes to Brother Ass" the reader sees Pursewarden's direct experience of their story (as told by Justine) and their transmutation into Artist and Muse in Pursewarden's dream. In The Alexandria Quartet love and art share a mutually parasitic relationship. Love may not nourish the man or woman in Durrell's characters, but it does feed their art; while art cannot be perfected without the pain of love. The artists and solitaries — Pursewarden, Clea, and Darley — desire immediacy of self-revelation and are grateful when direct experience of emotional pain allows them to see outside the relative world and into the heraldic realm of vital archetypal images. The artist prototypes 6 resist the bondage to history, ideas and external forces which plague Nessim and Mountolive. Durrell contrasts the latter figures with the artist prototypes, who will not condemn themselves to lovelessness and self-destruction for the sake of power or ideals. Durrell's artistic solitaries search for a tenderness which is not based on narcissism, lust, or delusive passion. The theoretical framework for the prototype artists and lovers is furnished by Durrell's free interpretation of Freud, Rank, Jung, Groddeck, and de Rougemont — original thinkers who insisted on breaking the barriers of the old ideas about mental and sexual life. There are several tributes to D. H. Lawrence in The Quartet, and many to C. P. Cavafy. The former fought all his life against "rationalized morality," and the latter realized that the pure act of acceptance or resignation ("Che Fece ... II Gran Rifiuto" ["The Great Yea or Nay"]) determines freedom or servitude within the range of 6 experience. The Black Book illustrates many of Durrell's early personal concepts, including the heraldic vision, which offers an escape from questions of truth and the soul as well as from determinacy and causality. Clea suggests that the "poetic symbolism . . . the shape of nature itself" was what Pursewarden was trying to convey to Darley in the "Notes" (fj, 744). I believe that the heraldic balances the equation of life, so that metaphysical or moral probing becomes unnecessary. Pursewarden says in the "Notes": "Whoever makes this enigmatic leap into the heraldic reality of the poetic life discovers that truth has its own built-in morality!" (OJ, 772). But his explanations are as enigmatic as the idea itself. Durrell's meaning is clarified if heraldic is added to 7 the word something in the following quotation: The whole question, in essence, is acceptance, the depersonaliza tion of self, of the society which one has absorbed. It is not only a question of art, but a question of life. You are altered, affected, transmuted by this orientation. Whatever was your antecedent, your history, that no longer matters to me. I can no longer whimper when your head goes down like a hammer on the white pillow. The strange accidents of bone, the syntax of muscle and cartilage, exist in a relation to some thing that is no longer history or ideals.7 The speaker, Lawrence Lucifer, promises that whatever remains of poignant significance when "cupid's loaves and fishes are gathered up" will belong to his inner strength; not destroyed by writing, but a part of life. Like Lawrence Lucifer, Lawrence Durrell wishes to show all the pitfalls of reason and passion in a literary work, yet leave the completion of love and self-possession enigmatically vague — part of life, not art. "Solange," a work composed of blank verse and prose, was written in 7 1938 and "lengthened" and "retouched" for publication in 1967. "Solange" emphasizes the division of mind and body, the triumph of rational love over the mystical which is a major complaint in The Alexandria Quartet: working with pink tongue or tooth towards some mystical emphasis, a life without sanctions in the forever, so long ago, so far away from all this contemporary whimperdom Solange sole angel of the seekers, their prop medal and recourse faces crisper than oak-leaves your burial service covered all the coward and the brave the perfectly solid fact as symbol of humanity's education less a woman with legs than something, say that oven into which Descartes locked himself in order 8 to enunciate the first principle of his system; the oven Planck consulted after all the spectroscope's thrilling finery to deduce the notion of quanta, always the same oven, never any bread, the XXth century loaf is an equation Solange be like mirrors accumulating nothing. The Black Book and "Solange" quotations contain a common rejection of contemporary "whimperdom" — the rationalization of love and death or spontaneous sexuality — as well as the fear and trembling of psyches obsessed by their own movements. A concise definition of heraldic would echo the description of Solange: "the perfectly solid fact as symbol." Solange represents the movements of the collective modern mind toward philosophic and scientific equations which ignore a balanced enjoyment of sexuality and produce only barren abstractions. In order to escape the poles of romantic sentimentality and rational cynicism, extra-causal forces and the "shadow-side" of life"'"'"1 (Jung's term) must be uncompromisingly accepted. The sort of metaphysics Durrell wants to avoid is typified by Gregory in The Black Book when he refers to metaphysics as "the last refuge of the actor.""'""'" Gregory sees himself 12 as "an actor on an empty stage, his only audience the critical self." The Hamlet prototype can never utter the affirming "Yea" of Cavafy; never elect to be_ within the "whole bloody range!1 (C, 755) from the holy to the obscene. Relativity of perception is an isolating force, but humanity and tenderness must not disintegrate beneath the weight of illusion. In Justine that is Darley's condition as well as Hamlet's. The positive meaning of metaphysics for Durrell is best defined by his remarks in the preface to Groddeck's Book of the It. He refers to 9 Groddeck as a "natural philosopher, as incapable of separating body and 13 mind as he is incapable of separating health and disease." He terms Groddeck's philosophy one of "acceptance through understanding," as opposed to Freud's "philosophy of knowledge.""^ But Durrell respects Groddeck most because he "refused the temptations of an artificial morality in his dealings with life, and preferred to accord it full rights as an Unknown from which it might be possible for the individual to extract an equation for ordinary living.""*"^ The acceptance of life as an Unknown is a vital part of Durrell's "theatre of the idea." Pursewarden, the ideological spokesman of The Quartet, repeats the same parable: fear of the dualities of good and evil, love and hate, contained within the man-made absolutes Love and God is destructive. Dualism and absolutes issue from the imagination of man, especially the romantic imagination. Darley's account of his affair with Justine, her relation to Nessim, Da Capo's tale of homunculi, Balthazar's degradation for Panagotis' sake, (in fact a great part of The Quartet) demonstrate the desire to unite at the risk of a physical and/or spiritual death which is common to high romantic literature and dime-store novels. But Durrell's poetry describes erotic love as a desperate compromise between biological process and spiritual movement or transmutation. Only individual self-identification and unity can defeat the fear and shame caused by the physical-metaphysical, mind-body duality. Fraser attributes this aspect of Durrell's symbolism to Jung and the old alchemists' concept of "alchemical process as a metaphor for, or analogical representation of spiritual process. ""^ 10 "The Prayer Wheel" describes a delicate counterpoint between love and the laws of process — "Time in love's diurnal motion." Stanza three shows the alliance of love with natural process: Teach us the already known, Turning in the invisible saucer By a perfect recreation Air and water mix and part. Reaffirm the lover's process, Faith and love in flesh alloyed, Spring the cisterns of the heart: Build the house of entertainment On the cold circumference Candle-pointed in the Void.17 Stanza six points to the infinity of the heraldic world, where lovers become tiny chemical units whose language and actions cannot grasp the symbolic unity of the Unknown: What is known is never written. By the equal distribution He and She and It are genders, Sparks of carbon on the circle Meeting in the porch of sex. Faces mix and numbers mingle Many aspects of the One Teach the human compromise. Speech will never stain the blue, Nor the lover's occult kisses Hold the curves of Paradise.18 In The Alexandria Quartet the characters suffer from the tension between desire for union on the sexual plane and maintenance of their nature as individuals. There is a constant transmutation of spiritual or emotional values from baser to higher levels (Melissa, seen as prostitute, muse, and honesty incarnate, by Nessim, Darley, and Pursewarden, for example), but the condition of desire remains static: Crude man in his coat of nerves and hair Whose kisses like apostles go about On translated business never quite his own, Derives from the obscure medium of the body, As through some glass coffin, a retrieved sprite, Himself holding the holy bottle, fast asleep.1^ 11 Durrell's poetry sketches a blueprint for personal equilibrium by working from the extremes of social conformity and mystical self-identification towards a "human compromise," a tragic-ironic capitulation to the conditions of life under which people strive to love and recognize each other. "Elegy on the Closing of the French Brothels" is a lament on this issue of human compromise. The brothel inmates are: ... the few great healers Who understand the penalties of confession, And cannot fear these half-invented Gods, 20 Inhabiting our own cities of unconquered pain. Tessa, the only named figure in the "Elegy," is a poetic relative of Melissa of Alexandria: Invented already this darker niece of Egypt, Who leaves the small hashish-pipe by the pillow, Uneasy in red slippers like the dust in urns, The smashed columns, wells full of leaves, The faces white as burns.21 The close of the "Elegy" tells us that when fear of the shame of physical love has been conquered no one will be happier, but they will be self-identified, at rest with their own natures, instead of seeking like Da Capo's homunculi to feed upon each other. The metaphysical goal is clearly stated: . . . We have still to outgrow The prohibitions in us with the fears they grow from: For the beloved will be no happier Nor the unloved less hungry when the miracle begins: Yet both will be ineffably disclosed In their own natures by simplicity Like roses in a giving off of grace.^2 Freedom, for the prototypes in The Alexandria Quartet consists of an. escape from duality and the achievement of self-identity. To concretize this poetic idea, Durrell must illustrate a paradox which is central to his philosophy: to fight or struggle for self-possession, self-love, is to lose it. 12 The key to Durrell's parable lies in the relation of his prototype characters to their imaginations and the love-ideals contained within them. After a detailed examination of the various modes of love and thei psychological and historical backgrounds, two distinct concentrations emerge around Narouz and Pursewarden, who refused to compromise and halted the inevitable reduction of their credibility by death. The first concentration is upon the idea of struggle — in the words of Narouz, "the injustice of a divinity which respects only man's struggle to possess his own soul" (M, 578). The second area emphasizes submission, and is best illustrated by Liza's dictum that Pursewarden's "one job is to learn how to submit to despair" (M, 440). Pursewarden lives in the literary imagination and his major love is his sister, a double and a muse for whom he created a legendary world. Narouz' imagination lies dormant, his life one of contact with the earth and primitive tribesmen, his world a palpable and harsh daily reality. Pursewarden submits to the life of his imagination, surrendering any power over Liza in order that a new love may live. In Narouz imaginative life creates a deformed and inflated ego, and he dies howling like a wounded beast for a love he never had. The parable which emerges from the contrast between the deaths of Narouz and Pursewarden shows that love and self-possession are arts which transcend history and ideals. Durrell remarked in an interview that "Pursewarden's suicide is the sacrificial suicide of a true cathar." His death is Gnostic in the sense used by de Rougemont in describing the Catharist doctrine: "Life should be ended, 'not out of weariness nor out of fear of pain, but in a state of utter detachment from nature'. 13 This state denotes an acceptance of the naked self, a feeling that there is nothing to strive for in the external world. Narouz dies like a crusader; a religious and nationalistic pretext allows him to use God as a weapon in his fight for self-possession. Because he has no self-love, his childhood resentment and hatred surface with his poetic ability. Both the primitive Narouz and the urbane Pursewarden are custodians of the "poetic consciousness which lay, coiled like a spring, in the heart of everyone" (M, 579). The immense and significant contrast lies in the manner of their death — Pursewarden "with his nose cocked to the ceiling, in his amused privacy" (B, 313) and Narouz, with his whip coiled around his body, facing the unseen enemy. The characters in The Alexandria Quartet are types or prototypes. It is only by asking how these prototypes represent the larger structure of meaning, and what they stand for in mythical and psychological reality, that one can locate the "common axis" within The Quartet. The poles of struggle and acceptance are easily recognized. The first consists of rational, ethical, and codified modes of dealing with life and belief. Examples are vassalage and the master-servant relation (with the attendant possible complicity in conspiracy), the ideal of duty, the fighting ethic, the recovery of the lost rights of a national group, and extreme analytical thought. Ranged at this end are the forces of passion, yearning, aspiration and, as far as the love theme is concerned, the concomitant deification of another person, or the need to receive nourishment from him in a mental sense. The entire Hosnani family uses passion and struggle to obtain their aims. 14 The second mode of being resides in the "essentially lyrical" irrational idea of gnosis. Here the oldest myths and fears must be confronted without the justification of psychological or moral causality. Here dwell the oracle, the blind muse, incest, the murder of a brother, guilt and desires hidden from the conscious mind. Yet at this end of the spectrum we find tenderness, the poetic consciousness and the imagina tive acceptance of the dark, inexplicable facets of existence. Self-knowledge must emerge from the ancient culture deposits of "historic consciousness" which form the foundations of Alexandria and through her control the prototype characters. When E. M. Forster says that "History develops, Art stands still" he refers to the essential creative task of the artist versus that of 25 the recorder of "fact." Durrell is working more along the lines of Otto Rank's theory of the basic dualism between the individual and the community, and the exaltation of the individual artist as a genius. "The creative artistic personality is thus the first work of the productive individual," writes Rank.^ Though "the classical in art is what marches by intention with the cosmology of the age" (B_, 385) , and the age has a collective style of its own, the job of the individual artist is the one outlined by Clea: "to harness time in the cultivation of a style of heart." Love itself, in The Alexandria Quartet might be defined as an imbalanced equation between time and the self. The history-bound characters in The Quartet exist in a state of arrested development, even to the extent of being "lived" by their complementaries in the Alexandrian past. Durrell evokes an Alexandria which is an oasis of morbid pleasure and introspection, where the illusion 15 of "time spread out flat" (M, 624) makes the thoughts of Petronius coeval with those of Einstein. Alexandria is a dream city which entices its inhabitants with false promises of fulfillment. But just outside its confines is the desert, "fanned by the bleakness of a faith which renounced worldly pleasure." The landscape itself is a model for the polarities of indulgence and renunciation, neither of which is a satis factory solution for the true artist or lover. CHAPTER II PERSONALITY CREATION: THE NOVEL AS THERAPEUTIC INQUIRY The dualistic mode of representing character and psychological attitude makes it necessary for The Quartet to reveal meaning and value through contrast. Many critics have noted the number of characters who balance and echo each other through the four volumes. One function of the repetition device is to underline the blind responses, codes, and conditioned patterns which characters like Justine, Nessim, and Mountolive operate by and build into such complicated (and to the naive Darley of Justine) glamorous exteriors. The second function of the repeated type is to highlight the chosen exemplars of the City; to demonstrate the difficulty under which a Pombal must labour if he is to escape "heart-whole" (J, 24) from Alexandria if an Antony could not. Durrell creates so many varied exemplars, tragi-comic martyrs to their own dreams, in an effort to dramatize the process of self-liberation amidst the most fantastic collection of obsessive and fanatic types. 2 7 Love, the "point faible" of the psyche, allows the novelist to take an intimate look through the windows and mirrors of the Alexandrians into their deepest motives and insights. When Pursewarden describes the terms "help-meet" and "loving-kindness" as lost and great expressions he is demonstrating the degeneration of the definition of love from a humanly specific term to an abstraction. - 16 -17 I believe that Durrell's response to Marc Alyn in Le Grand Suppositoire, regarding the argument of The Black Book applies equally to The Quartet, but within a much larger field of enquiry. According to the author, The  Black Book puts the case for the difficulty of self-liberation and the problem was to make of oneself an open wound so as to reach a point from which to overcome the twisted aspects of one's personality. I admired that in Miller; a certain contempt for literature which ends by turning it into a therapy. To free oneself of tensions. Such a project was rather a philosophical one, religious even, although I dislike the word. If the truth be told, I came very close to madness. It was absolutely vital for me to face up to these problems. Impossible then to fall back on Freud and Jung, etc., who have been such a help to me since.^ The "Consequential Data" in Balthazar give a more ambitious and extended objective as the "argument" of The Quartet: "My object in the novels? To interrogate human values through an honest representation of the human passions. A desirable end, perhaps a hopeless objective" (B_, 387). Durrell's argument with the modern European value system dramatizes his personal belief in a form of emotional self-discovery which seems overly abstract in his explanations of the "heraldic universe" and overly cryptic in his poems. The Quartet asks: Is there an equilibrium to be found between the ironic distance of Pursewarden and the subjective analysis of Balthazar and Arnauti? Is there a means of investigating values, especially sexual and moral ones, without using the prophetic tone of D. H. Lawrence, or the satiric voice of Huxley or Lewis? Durrell wrote Henry Miller that he wanted The Quartet to have a high degree of lucidity because the "thread of EXPERIENCE shines through." Only the richness of experience can make plausible the revelations of self-knowledge and paradoxical logic which precede entry into the 18 "heraldic universe." I believe that Durrell admires the honesty of the Gnostic sects in the same way in which he respects Groddeck and Cavafy; they refused to accept a conventional morality or system of values without first investigating personal experience to the limit. R. M. Grant defines Gnostic attitudes: "The Gnostic approach to life is thus a 'passionate subjectivity' which counts the world well lost for the sake of self-discovery." After emphasizing the divergent views of Gnostic sects, and their common interest in mythology, Grant states that "Gnostics were ultimately devoted not to mythology but to freedom . . . Gnostic self-knowledge, the result of revelation, is salvation; it 30 issues in freedom and a fresh sense of creativity." The first definition could easily be inserted into Justine and not betray its origin. Darley's reaction to Balthazar's Interlinear shows that Justine was an entirely personal view of Alexandria which became "as dear as a philosophy of introspection, almost a monomania" (B_, 214) . Justine herself is an "arrow in darkness" in the search for self-knowledge. Her spirit of passionate inquiry is marred by the "Judeo-Coptic mania for dissection" (J_, 24) and the burden of modern neuroses. Grant's second definition, referring to freedom and fresh creativity is the goal seen by Clea and Darley at the close of The Quartet. Gnosis is only one of several types of historical, literary and philosophical background which Durrell uses as thematic links to tie the efforts of individual characters to the history of Alexandria and the need to escape from its atmosphere of arid sexuality and abstract speculation. The illustration of a metaphysical revelation (often the result of ironic juxtaposition of points of view) as it emerges from the conflict 19 between time and the self, is the raison d'etre of The Quartet. These moments of awakening from illusion are described by Durrell as "the exact moment of creation," the "adventive moment" (C, 659), and the 31 point at which one becomes a "see-er" or a "self-seer." The four volumes are carefully planned in tone and the degree of introspection and intimacy allowed by point of view artfully shifted, so that the reader must involve himself in Justine with "passionate subjectivity" akin to .that of Darley, proceed to reflection and skepticism in Balthazar, and at last see the conspiracy and intrigue in Mountolive on an objective level. Simultaneously the reader realizes the limitations which the characters joyfully impose upon their own freedom of action; irrevocably setting down a grid of circumstance which will imprison them all in the name of personal fulfillment or achievement, but which is in reality its antithesis. This process would make a fitting summary of the history of romantic love and its obsessional, fated and pre-determined nature. 32 Durrell has written that Mountolive is the clou to the tetralogy. The determinism of the book is almost suffocating. Rigidity is constantly emphasized in images of ancient frescoes, ikons, suits of armour, even allusions to being buried alive: "They were both bound now, tied like bondsmen to the unrolling action which illustrated the personal predis positions of neither. They had embarked on a free exercise of the will only to find themselves shackled, bricked up by the historical process" (M, 566). On the following page the constraint put upon personal freedom by duty and rigid ideals is described: 20 The knowledge of the fact that they must, expressionless as knights nailed into suits of armour, continue upon a predetermined course, constituted both a separation and a new, deeper bond; a more passionate comradeship, such as soldiers enjoy upon the field of battle, aware that they have renounced all thought of human continuity in terms of love, family, friends, home — become servants of an iron will which exhibits itself in the mailed mask of duty. (M, 567) Mountolive is the book of historical process, even in the psychological sense. Mountolive is the only volume to provide a childhood or adolescence for the major characters — Mountolive, Nessim, and even Pursewarden. It is this book which contains the statement that "Love is every sort of conspiracy" (M, 556). The desire of conspirators to serve their cause regardless of the feelings of others parallels religious or high romantic devotion of the type described by Denis de Rougemont in Love  in the Western World; it consumes the will either voluntarily or involuntarily and delivers the characters over to the power of obsessional passions. Spontaneous action and feeling are corollaries of heraldic vision. Mountolive is characterized by images of withheld action which take the form of grotesque pregnancies. Only the closing scene at Narouz' funeral dissolves the rational restraints on fulfilling the demands of the senses, and prepares the reader for the rebirth of feeling in Clea. To Nessim, the sounds of water trickling and sponges crushing on the body of his brother "seemed part of an entirely new fabric of thought and emotion" (M, 651). For Nessim, his brother's death is a liberation from the conflict between love and duty. The master-servant duality of their power struggle is at last nullified. Narouz had originally exhibited a passion to serve characteristic of many of the Quartet's exemplars. With Justine it is an "Oriental 21 desire" (B_, 242) , a kind of catalytic function which suppresses any form of direct action, and ensures that she never emerges as a discrete personality. Only the desire to please and the possession of jealously guarded secrets give Justine's performance a meaning. An image of withheld action caused by the desire to please is presented in the character Nur, the trapped lesser official beneath Memlik. He resembles a "foetus in a bottle (M, 595) . Darley realizes in retrospect that Justine was carrying Pursewarden's death within her, "invisible as the already conceived foetus of a child" (B_, 367) . To these examples of stifled and abnormal growth must be added the picture of Mountolive "inflated now by a sense of tremendous dignity and self-importance .... He walked"slowly, like a pregnant woman nearing term, drinking in the sights and sounds" (M, 625). In the context of the history and culture of Alexandria, this passion to serve and please which yields only a false grandeur and a dangerous lack of perception towards the consequences of action is a death for Pursewarden's dream of the truly creative, expressive personality. This desire to please at all costs is the weakest spot in the "point faible" of the psyche which is love. Justine's qualities are so dispersed, she is so uncomprehending about herself, that the lack of unity defines her and makes her seem like an ancient goddess, with no single quality that can be loved or hated. The manner in which Justine lives — always calculating and gambling on the future while she assesses her lovers as dangerous or not dangerous to the political plot — is a betrayal of love and the city itself, which made even Caesar and Antony forget their political selves for a time and live as lovers first. Paradoxically, but quite clearly, Justine operates by 22 the same principle as David Mountolive. Pursewarden meditates on the difficulty of being a career diplomat and the necessary suffering of fatuities "deliberately endured in the name of what was most holy in the profession, namely the desire to please, the determination to captivate in order to influence" (M, 519). In the first and last glimpses of Justine, from the time she delivers Darley to Nessim to the point at which she leads Memlik down the street, her desire to locate the weak spot, the "point faible," and her determination to please in order to captivate are the same. The increasing intensity, volume by volume, of objectivity towards pain and knowledge mirrors growth in a way that-truly seems not temporal, but spatial — conditioned by the angle of inquiry which dominates the particular book. Yet, because of the carefully designed layers of new information and speculation, the continuum of discovery experienced by the characters and the word continuum of the structure go hand in hand. The word continuum defines and reflects growth and the attainment of self-knowledge in the reader of the poem "Cities, Plains and People": To all who turn and start descending The long sad river of their growth: The tidebound, tepid, causeless Continuum of terrors in the spirit, I give you here unending In idleness an innocent beginning 33 Until your pain becomes a literature. The idea of relativity is used as a tool to vary and adjust the points of view which either increase or diminish this pain, and the co-relative degree of self-knowledge. There are many blatant cliches in The Quartet. Most of them, such as Darley's belief that he was immeasurably enriched by his experience with Justine, are conventional rationales of the 23 romantic lover. The best way to assuage the pain of experience (at least intellectually) is to value experience itself as innately enriching. One of the most important indicators of Durrell's purpose is Pursewarden, and he never values experience for its own sake. He sees Justine as "that tiresome sexual turnstile" (J_, 285) — an everpresent necessity rather than a fresh experience. Yet he also sees her as a human being instead of a goddess or mythic queen, and tries to solve the problem of her "Check" (the obsession with a memory of childhood rape) with a suggestion of direct action. Pursewarden attempts to free her from her neuroses rather than define her by them as Darley does. Durrell's use of the novel as a vehicle for inquiry and therapeutic revelation reached its greatest range and height in The Quartet. Tunc and Nunquam (collectively titled The Revolt of Aphrodite) and the Prince of Darkness (or Monsieur) all exhibit a self-satire on this revelatory and metaphysical mode, and show a complete failure to achieve the balance of paradox and irony, form and content, that make The Alexandria Quartet a great work. The device of two or more artists or writers is maintained in the later novels (in the case of Tunc-Nunquam an inventor is substituted, but with the same general effect). Koepgen, the poet of Tunc-Nunquam is a revealing character in the self-satire, which is not contained within the text in a fictional setting (as is the case with Darley and Pursewarden), but quite obviously invites the reader to compare Koepgen's artistic process to Durrell's own. Caradoc, the architect (another kind of scientific artist) comments on Koepgen: "'He has been slumming among the Gnostics, selling his birthright for a pot of message. He will end by becoming an Orthodox Proust or a | 24 monarcho-trappist. All monks are grotesque lay figures — figures of 34 funk.'" A description of Koepgen's poems contains the same claim for a romantic identity between acts and thoughts that echoes through the Quartet: "moving ideograms of other love-objects living in their Platonic form — 'man' 'rose' 'fire' 'star.' All the furniture of Koepgen's poems, which he claimed were really 'acts, the outer skin of 35 thought.'" This aphorism occurs in the Quartet in conjunction with the idea of sexual love as knowledge. Clea quotes Paracelsus, ("thoughts are acts") (c:, 739) and proceeds to outline Pursewarden' s theory of sex as the "key to a metaphysical search which is our raison d'etre here below" (C_, 760) . And it is religion, according to Pursewarden, that has prevented the realization of this truth, especially the rational-ethical form of western religious thought. The Alexandria Quartet satirizes religions and cults, whether mystic or political, which the characters espouse rather than face the frightening task of personality creation without crutches. If Pursewarden is the theoretical spokesman for the Quartet, Clea is its recordkeeper. She co-ordinates and rethinks events and emotions which the other characters are too busy experiencing. Clea's letters give the last news of Alexandria in all of the books, excepting the objective Mountolive. In the letter at the close of Justine she sends Darley news that supports the claim of John Paul Russo that Capodistria's rape of Justine motivated the analyses of her "Check" by the other characters, and in turn set off their own self-analyses; so that "Capodistria's crime, in this sense, causes the entire Quartet." Clea proceeds to document Justine's collapse on the sexual and mental planes when the motivating force of the "Check" is removed, the regeneration 25 of Nessim's passional life with Melissa, and the subsequent shame and return of "the old heartsickness" (the disease which true Alexandrians die of, according to Leila) (C, 864). Finally Clea arrives at her point about this war for self-possession and control of the ego and sexuality which was the world of Justine. She writes: "'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 love?'" (J, 193). Her last hope is for a friendship which is "wordless, idealess." She leaves faith in the body to the priests. It is fidelity in the "culprit mind" that truly liberates. The Quartet clearly defines the way to failure in love through possession, pity, confessional relationships, and even love by correspondence. Capodistria becomes an arch priest to Justine, Liza a courtly love heroine to Pursewarden, Leila the image of Egypt to Mountolive, and Panagotis the "personage of Seleucia" of Cavafy's poem "One of their Gods" to Balthazar. It is important to note that Clea, as the cornerstone of the romantic development without enslavement or possession, might easily have become overshadowed by Amaril, but recovers to proudly name herself the co-author of Semira's nose. Amaril is Pygmalion, but not Clea's Pygmalion. Clea refers to Justine's reverence for Capodistria, and her search for "Humility! The last trap that awaits the ego in search of absolute truth" (J, 192) and reflects that Justine's loss of a block of her life would have resulted in religious conversion if she had not been an Alexandrian. Yet the words arch-priest, absolution, confessional, mark 26 the remainder of Clea's commentary. She is making the same judgement that Pursewarden makes on Balthazar's dependence on the Cabal, and the general trend of city man toward occultism to combat the absence of freedom and style which the artist must struggle to extract from modern life. Durrell is paralleling Jung's analogy between the loss of true religious expression as a means of dealing with the unknown and darker contents of the psyche, and the rise of occult replacements in the modern era. In Modern Man in Search of a Soul Jung underlines the fascination of the modern man with "the almost pathological manifestations of the unconscious mind." He points out the growth of spiritualism, theosophy, and similar mystical investigations of the psyche, and concludes: We can compare it only to the flowering of Gnostic thought in the first and second centuries after Christ. The spiritual currents of the present have, in fact, a deep affinity with Gnosticism .... Compared with these move ments the interest in scientific psychology is negligible. What is striking about Gnostic systems is that they are based exclusively upon the manifestations of the unconscious, and that their moral teachings do not baulk at the shadow-side of life . . . . The passionate interest in these movements arises undoubtedly from psychic energy which can no longer be invested in obsolete forms of religion.37 Pursewarden gives Darley a serious, yet ironic background to his novel God is a Humorist. Clea's letter echoes Pursewarden's assertions, especially the idea that religion is a great trap for the ego, and she was reading God is a. Humorist at the time of writing. Pursewarden explains to Darley that Balthazar "will never understand that it is with God we must be the most careful; for He makes such a powerful appeal to what is lowest in human nature — our feeling of insufficiency, fear of the unknown, personal failings; above all our monstrous egotism which sees in the martyr's crown an athletic prize which is really hard 27 to attain" (J, 116-7). He continues with one of the most grotesque and minute accounts of biological process in literature — an organ by organ detailing of man, "searching for a co-ordinating scheme, the syntax of a Will, which might stabilize everything and take the tragedy out of it" (J, 117). The noise of the body motions, the mechanics of thought.on the arterial level, never allow a mystic quiet, a pause in which to ascertain one's exact position. The grisly account ends with the sound of a voice reading Cavafy, "with an emotion so deep that it was almost horror": Ideal voices and much beloved Of those who died, of those who are Now lost for us like the very dead; Sometimes within a dream they speak Or in the ticking brain a thought revives them .... Both these utterances of the Artist betray the most powerful demiurge who leers over The Quartet: the natural appetite for tragedy and chaos, revealed in the act of worshipping our greatest weaknesses (dependency, egotism, guilt) and the mind which arbitrarily returns lost ideals in forms which do not exist for the suffering victim in reality; lost opportunities for human contact in a world in which the characters are solitaries. The only mode of escape is by looking honestly at the transitoriness of life and its "shadow-side." Durrell employs a considerable amount of background literature on the theory and psychology of love, and the influence of writers who have battled morality in The Man Who Died is cited as an example of a parable depicting the rebirth of free man — "His [Lawrence's] struggle is ours — to rescue Jesus from Moses" (C_, 762) . The "Notes to Brother Ass" in Clea are often tedious and over-blown, but they do deliver a prophetic 28 message, if the frozen images of religious stricture in Mountolive are kept in mind, and the personal findings of the mole-like Darley of Justine recalled — the enrichment of even a "false" love. The search of the artist for a way to relate the physical and the metaphysical becomes one which centres on the love experience. Otto Rank finds art responsible for the individualization of God, and the humanization of the soul. Men of an age like the Renaissance, such as Shakespeare and Michelangelo, artists isolated from collective religious beliefs, 3: developed a need for an individual Muse, or individualized soul concept. The despair which Pursewarden suffers is exactly the malady of the artist inseparably, and in this case, incestuously related to his Muse. Like allegorical characters, the. prototypes of The Alexandria Quartet are governed by certain passions or ideas which control their actions. Narouz, inspired by the recluse Taor, has reasserted the primitive worship of the soul of the land itself, beloved Egypt. Although Narouz is infected by the will-to-power, the source of poetic beauty is the same — the idea of the soul and the individual muse. Here Narouz and Pursewarden meet in "man's struggle to possess his own soul." The enigmatic artist and the ascetic who wields a whip, are both plagued by a love which was doomed to remain an ideogram, both treasuring a creature who inhabits their visions. But the artist abandons his will and submits to death when circumstances violate his dream of union with Liza. The primitive battles an uncontrollable unknown with his will. In "The Quartet: Two Reviews," Lionel Trilling discusses the determination of the modern novelist to subordinate the work and the reader to his will, and concludes with a very perceptive intuition: 29 We can almost suppose that Mr. Durrell confronted this question explicitly, and hit upon the answer that the only possible way was by inverting the tendency of the novel, by chucking out the will. We can fancy that at this crucial point in his career he read The Man Who Died and found in Lawrence's story of resurrection a parable of the possible rebirth of the novel — the world to be thought-of not as a field upon which the battle for salvation is fought but simply as the offer of life.39 He continues to suggest Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation as a second inspiration towards reaction against the traditional concerns of the novel. But Durrell's purpose is not to banish the will entirely; only to show the full range of the battle, and to distinguish the dormant will for life and right attention from the frenzied destructive will of passion. The danger of an allegorizing experiment of this kind is pinpointed by Joyce Cary in Art and Reality. A really great writer, obsessed with his theme wishes to develop it as clearly as possible, therefore, "Just because of this clearness, this definition of meaning, allegory is a standing temptation to the great writers. What's more, their greatest triumphs are achieved in that narrow space between allegory and the 40 dramatic scene. Lawrence's masterpiece, St. Mawr, is an example." Tolstoy's use of Vronsky's horse and its relation to Anna in Anna  Karenina is unfavourably compared to Lawrence's superior use of St. Mawr as a symbol to personify his intuitively conceived theme within a conceptual structure. Cary has valuable remarks to make on the mechanical nature of allegory if it is not properly transformed from intuition to concept, as in St. Mawr. The self-evident weakness in The Quartet is the puppet-like quality of its characters. This is due to the planned oppressive atmosphere of place, which is itself a device that enables 30 the author to conceptualize the characters; to let them live out his own process of self-questioning, to make them perform the translation from intuition into concept. The emotional alchemy, the untranslatable moment of feeling, is changed into the Word. The essential final stage of the process, as Cary describes it, is the transformation of the 41 concept "back into a vehicle which conveys the intuition." Lawrence Durrell often fails to perform this ultimate and crucial step. Thus the ending of Clea, which symbolizes a rebirth, a liberation from the burdens of guilt and misplaced emotion, a positive submission to life instead of a defense against it, takes the form of a strong intuition without a strong conceptual framework to support it. That Durrell himself was aware of the mechanism of the moral allegory and his over-casual use of the device, is evidenced by his remarks to Henry Miller on the subject of The Dark Labyrinth. He refers to the book as "'an extended morality,1 but written artlessly in the style of a detective story. Guilt, Superstition, The Good Life, all 42 appear as ordinary people . . . ." The Quartet is immeasurably superior to The Dark Labyrinth, yet traces of the technique of the latter remain. This most expansive of writers in description, prose style, and exotic atmosphere, inserts character sketches and invites the reader to decode characters into Tarot card key figures. The Quartet was Durrell's first serious effort since The Black Book. A more metaphysical-philosophic questioning of experience by a greater variety of characters (both the actors in the book and analogous complementaries of historical Alexandria) replaces the hysterical and personalized view of the protagonist in the earlier book. In The Quartet the clarity of allegory is approximated by the basic duality of the condition of life itself. Love exists as a tension and a conflict, wrested from the split between mind and body, the metaphysical world and the realm of carnal desire, the demands of the pagan Aphrodite and the mind-habits of Judaeq-Coptic heritage, until the rebirth of free emotion occurs in Clea. The essential conceptual 43 base is that of a "dialectic between physical and metaphysical love." Alexandria is a living example of this dialectic; at once the anus mundi and the White City, populated by holy men and procurers. Durrell discarded the style of Aldous Huxley, but he retained Huxley's technique of carefully seeding the text with philosophic speculation. Point Counter  Point is obviously analogous to The Quartet. The epigraph at the beginning of Point Counter Point is almost duplicated in Pursewarden's "inaudible commentary" during his evening with Melissa. The Huxley epigraph reads: "What meaneth nature by these diverse laws —/ Passion and reason, self-division's cause?" Pursewarden's version is: "What meaneth Heaven by these diverse laws?/Eros, Agape — self-division's cause" (M, 533). The relation between the Huxley-Quarles figure and the Lawrence-Rampion character in Huxley's book is paralleled by Durrell's use of a Pursewarden who is a Huxley type, yet empathizes with Lawrence's aspirations. Like The Quartet, Point Counter Point incorporates the notebook writings of its major author figure. The first excerpt from the Ouarles notebook describes the technique Durrell uses in The Alexandria Quartet. Beginning with an analogy to musical modulation — not only of key, but also of mood — the discussion shows the two ways in which a novelist may "modulate": either by duplicating prototype situations, in order that dissimilar characters may be seen in the same predicament, or the 32 opposite — similar people in dissimilar situations. The second alternative is the more important one in terms of The Quartet: "The novelist can assume the god-like creative privilege and simply elect to consider the events of the story in their various aspects — emotional, scientific, economic, religious, metaphysical, etc. He will modulate from one to the other — as, from the aesthetic to the psycho-chemical aspect of 44 things, from the religious to the physiological or financial." Included in this self-advice is the idea of putting a novelist into the work to justify aesthetic generalization, and the recognition of the monstrous quality (as characters) of people who reel off ideas too patly. The relation of these statements to The Alexandria Quartet is too obvious to detail. Rampion's solution to the individual psychology in modern society is to have people living "dualistically, in two compartments," one for the human being, and the other for the industrialized worker. The major difference between Durrell's Quartet and the earlier 'multiplicity' novels of the English tradition, such as Point Counter  Point is the complete absence of the pressure of the working life, the modern industrial complex, and even of vignettes like the bar scenes which are so important in Point Counter Point and Ulysses. The cafe's of Alexandria are a part of the setting which is never vividly pictured, and although the venality of the city is continually emphasized, the major characters either have money but do not seem to care much for it, or have some profession which assures them a small income. Yet Durrell manages to have Pursewarden realize that Melissa's, or anyone's, compart-mentalization of their feelings away from their working life is Death (M, 529). Durrell has effectively eliminated class differentiations 33 and the background of modern industrialism which detract from the purely emotional field of most of the major novels of twentieth century writers, Joyce Cary's trilogies, all the works of Lawrence, Joyce's Ulysses, Musil's The Man Without Qualities, Conrad's Nostromo all contain varying economic, social or political factors which often outweigh the thematic concern with love and art. Durrell's Alexandrian background simply reinforces the love theme and makes an experiential synthesis and variety of modulation easier to achieve. He has created a setting which embodies, historically and philosophically, the Eros-Agape conflict represented by the two sheiks in Mountolive — the true holy man and the procurer. Alexandria is a place where religion and celebration join in a true marriage of space and time: "The dozen faiths and religions shared a celebration which time had sanctified, which was made common to all and dedicated to a season and a landscape, completely obliterating its canon referents in lore and code" (B_, 318) . Huxley's essay "Fashions in Love" gives an almost perfect synopsis of Durrell's metaphoric and conceptual plan for the Quartet. The same dualism is placed against a background of myth, the same hope evinced that the individual may dislodge himself from the "human compromise": "At any given historical moment human behaviour is a compromise (enforced from without by law and custom, from within by belief in religious or philosophical myths) between the raw instinct on the one hand and the unattainable ideal on the other — a compromise, in our sculptural metaphor, between the unshaped block of stone and the many-armed dancing 45 Krishna." Huxley's thesis is that a revived mythology is necessary to recreate the conflict between external or inner restraint and the 34 unbridled sexual impulse (this conflict being essential in order to produce Love). He suggests D. H. Lawrence's new formulation of nature mythology as promising, emphasizes the personal, inner quality of this form of restraint and declares Human Personality, although a mythical figure itself (as 'personality as a whole') preferable to God. This is the same paradox which forms a continuous thematic thread in The Quartet: although personality as a whole is an illusion, personal fulfillment or the achievement of some sort of unitary competency as a person is essential. The sculptural metaphor which Huxley refers to is linked to personal achievement by Clea when she talks about the "perfection to be achieved in matching oneself to one's capacities — at every level" (C_, 745). To do this the artist (in the sculptural metaphor) must "disengage itself from the dull block of marble which houses it, and start to live" (C_, 744) . Huxley also uses the sea as a metaphor for the road to transcendence. He writes that "What is being pointed out by the anti-theologians is that it is not much use having a compass if one doesn't possess a ship in which to cross the sea. Among the transcendental pragmatists of the Orient the stress is laid on the ship — the method of self-transcendence, by means of which the individual makes his own destiny and, to some 46 extent, that of the people with whom he comes in contact." Darley's voyage to the island and his return to Alexandria is part of a self-educational moulding of his own destiny. When Balthazar delivers the Justine manuscript to Darley's island (which Clea refers to as a "sort of metaphor like Descartes' oven") (B, 382), Darley finds the boat's anchor-chain a "moving sight to one who, like myself, had been landlocked 35 in spirit as all writers are — indeed, become like a ship in a bottle, sailing nowhere ..." (B, 213). Scobie, who possesses the ability for constant "sea-change," lives in a sort of eternal Present where memory is captured and freshly held, in the same way in which an artist should transform the moment without losing its immediacy. This is the heraldic "preservation in essence" to which Durrell refers. Huxley uses the same phrase from King Lear, "Ripeness is all," which Durrell applies to Scobie to characterize Frieda Lawrence. Huxley interprets it as reflecting an "essentially realistic view of life," which includes the ability to accept everything with the heart as a child does and the capacity to live each moment as it comes, in total identification with the mood as it appears.^7 This is the same quality which Durrell's prototypes must strive for: the "perfection to be achieved in matching oneself to one's capacities — at every level." If Huxley tells us what is needed to restore the balance between instinct and ideal, Wyndham Lewis traces the historical separation between sexual and mental life. He comments on the connection between Romance and morals and summarizes his argument by distinguishing the atmosphere of Alexandria from that of Athens. The frenzied sexuality of Alexandria is explained in the following passage from Time and  Western Man: Our civilization is much more artificial than that of Greece or Rome; and the main cause for that is the christian ethic. Where Romance enters the sphere of morals is at the gate of sex; and nearly all the diabolism (helping itself to the traditional sadic and invert machinery), springing up so eagerly in a puritan soil, can be traced to a sex-root. It is even extremely easy in the modern West to sexify everything, in a way that would have been impossible in the greek world, for instance. To see this, you have only to 36 consider the fact that the Athens of Socrates was notorious, as his dialogues witness, for what is (for us) the most obsessing sort of sex-cult. Yet it did not become the rival of thought, the life of the intellect and that of the senses co-existed harmoniously; and philosophic speculation, for the men who disputed with Socrates, was evidently as exciting as any of their other occupations. The dialogues of Plato have not an alexandrian effluvia of feminine scent; nor do they erect pointers on all the pathways of the mind, waving frantically back to the gonadal ecstasies of the commencement of life. They are as loftily detached from the particular delights in fashion with the Athenian as it is possible to be; the core of the mind was not involved, or even touched, by the claims of that group of glands, in spite of the fact that the puppets who used to conduct the intellectual contests were often conventionally epicene. The psychological composition of the mind of such a philosopher as Socrates, or Democritus, showed no bias whatever such as you inevitably find in a Wilde or a Pater — that alexandrian enervation and softening of all the male chastity of mind. He continues to parallel chivalrous love on a man-woman plane to the boy-love of the Greeks, and to declare that "it is not sex, properly speaking and all its simple and natural appeal, that is in question at all; it is the diabolics locked up in the edifice of 'morals' that is the arch-enemy of the artist. To circumvent that ridiculous but 48 formidable spirit is a necessary but difficult enterprize." Durrell's Pursewarden- is a composite figure who echoes the great literary theorists on sex and morals. Pursewarden owes much to Lawrence, Huxley, and Lewis, and the balance of his character, including his inability to take it all too seriously, belongs to Lawrence Durrell. CHAPTER III DESTRUCTIVE LOVE A. PASSION AND THE WILL The destructive nature of passionate love is represented in two ways: by the mental lust for power and possession, and by the physically damaging madness created by obsessional devotion to a beloved image. The destructive will-to-power is contrasted with the creative artistic will. Durrell uses Eastern philosophy, the history of courtly love, the Cabal, and the Alexandrian past to embellish the activities of his prototypes. The extent of Durrell's success in evoking the strangely dedicated lives of his characters is demonstrated by the fact that Justine, like the whores in the street, has "desires belonging not to themselves, but to remote ancestors speaking through them" (B_, 324) , which is much more 'real' an idea for the reader to accept than her actual background (a poor Jewish girl of the quartier). Justine and Nessim are like "saints practicing the chilly art of seminal stoppage in order the more clearly to recognize themselves" (M, 557). This notion of fecundation of the mind refers to Nessim's feeling that Justine desires to "fecundate" his actions and also applies to Narouz' discovery of his vocation as a preacher (M, 491). The gratuitous increase in 38.: mental or visionary power in this 'religious' aspect of love resembles a description of the asexual germination by which plant life reproduces, and makes sex truly a "psychic act" and a form of mirror-worship. This mental fecundation is related to the machinery of reason; a power-lust masquerading as passionate love. Justine and Nessim's pact results in dedication to a cause in the pseudo-religious sense, and a spurious liberation of self in the realm of action. I use the term religious in the way de Rougemont employs it in describing the religion of courtly love: a voluntary worship and vassalage for the sake of an ideal. Rougemont's general exposition of love in Love in the Western  World and Love Declared shares certain characteristics with conspiracy — most notably the lies upon which love and conspiracy feed, and the secrecy demanded by Eros if it is to thrive. Durrell refers to the "fecund silences" (M, 581) of the royal game of chess — another metaphor for the breeding ground of reasoned action. The secrets Justine shares with Nessim leave him free to act. Revealing to each other the naked power, "the electric current" (M, 490) which lies under the daily facade of personality, confers a kind of holiness on conspirators and desert fathers alike; a confidence in their powers which is little more than the delusive security of shared perception created by shared desire. Narouz sees Taor's visions and she his; Mountolive sees Egypt with Leila's eyes. Pursewarden sees for Liza. In this context, the episode of the Magzub and the descriptions of dervishes and their powers of mental and physical control parallel the conditions under which the intriguers in love and politics operate. Justine has "the brilliant look of innocence which comes only with conversion to a religious way of life " (M, 556). 39 The important difference between the manner in which Justine and Nessim nourish each other's minds and the way in which Narouz attains his power as a preacher consists of the contrast between reason which operates with a "sort of holiness conferred by secrecy, by the appetites of a shared will, by desires joined at the waist" (M, 560) , and a far deeper level of the will; not the dry and calculating will-to-death, but the will-to-life, the true artistic will. It is inevitable that the description of these two different universes of feeling should be so similar. It is necessary to expose the point which Durrell is making: that we labour against our real creativity and the "poetic consciousness, and at the moment at which a person recognizes this fact, as Nessim does, a battle ensues between the intellect and the emotions. Nessim is trapped between love and duty, with only the frail excuses of the alter ego to save him from confronting an insoluble crisis and the destruction of either himself or his brother. Nessim understands what Trilling calls "the offer of life": And then it slowly came upon him that in a paradoxical sort of way Narouz was right in his desire to inflame the sleeping will — for he saw the world, not so much as a political chessboard but as a pulse beating within a greater will which only the poetry of the psalms could invoke and body forth. To awaken not merely the impulses of the forebrain with its limited formulations, but the sleeping beauty underneath — the poetic consciousness which lay, coiled like a spring, in the heart of everyone. (M, 578-9) Nessim's experience is the reverse of the one which brings Darley's alter ego into play when he rescues Clea at the end of The Quartet. In a perfect display of Durrellian paradoxical logic, Narouz the man of action discovers his alter ego as a poet and Darley the striving poet finds his alter ego as a man of action. 40 The episode which describes Nessim's sudden awareness of "poetic consciousness" is reminiscent in its terminology of D. H. Lawrence's "dark gods." But in the context of Durrell's work and his interest in Gnosticism, it expresses the lyrical aspect of gnosis; the unveiling of the shadow or hidden side of experience denied by the conscious mind. In the Lyons and Antrim interview Durrell expands on the historical pressure of the Church, which tried to remove the heretical, apocalyptic side of Christianity, although it continued to recur "anachronistically" through the Gnostics and other Christian mystics, such as Eckhart and Ruysbroeck. Durrell compares the "toughness" of the Inquisition to the rigor of Communism today, and continues: If you mention the word "humanity" or "happiness" you are committing a theological sin. And so from Coptic times onwards, when the church split, the source of the split in Byzantium was "keep these bloody mystics out." They wanted to keep the mystics out of the church like Plato ^ wanted the poets out of the ideal state. They make it unstable. The most basic character differences in The Quartet, the most polar antithesis of physical characteristics and mental attitudes, exists between Nessim and Narouz. They symbolize the total split in response to life; one cold and willed through the mind, the other a matter of direct intuitive response. This dualism is crucial to the love theme in The Quartet, and joins the historical references to the circumstances of the modern plot. The Nessim-Narouz division is the best illustration of desires and motives completely divorced from, the illusion of personality — that "necessary illusion if we are to love I" (B_, 210). The brothers are always uncomfortable in each other's presence and this reflects the inner division between them. Only convention and family respect hold the established limits of their personalities intact. Narouz 41 does not share the modern wish to flee from "intolerable temporal conditions" which Nessim agonizes over in the great historical retrospective in Justine. Nessim can empathize with the hopeless stagnation expressed in Cavafy's "The City"; he also knows that he is incapable of obeying the command of Plotinus: "withdraw into yourself and look" (J, 148). Nessim, the banker in his steel and glass office, is the completely modern man. Narouz, the desert farmer, is the primitive driven by his instincts. Like morality play figures, they are symbols of their governing passions rather than characters. Durrell is interested in gnosis as a method of fighting moral restrictions on psychic freedom and an honest way of looking at the subconscious. Perhaps influenced by de Rougemont, he also alludes to courtly love as a heretical religion and a refining force in the Church-bound feudal world. Although The Prince of Darkness is not a coherent work of art, it reveals the writer's interest in heretical religious beliefs. The novelist Sutcliffe, with his major theme of love, is another version of the professional Durrell. Among Sutcliffe's characters, who "succeed in running away with the author," are Piers and Bruce. Piers is the complete romantic and a practising Gnostic and Bruce the scientific and skeptic side of the writer. Here it is interesting to note Anais Nin's analysis of Durrell: "He himself writes without feeling, impersonally. But there is something else there. I think he is a romantic seeking to repudiate or deny this. I think he is a poet and a painter, and that he will never open human beings in the way Henry does. But he will not go into them either, into their feelings as I do."^ 42 In The Prince of Darkness Piers explains to Bruce the importance of Gnosticism, and relates it to Communism and the Inquisition in words which parallel Durrell's remarks in the Lyons and Antrim interview: But this belief throws into relief every form of heresy, every form of chivalrous dissent from the great lie which the Church would have us live by. You will find little fragments of this basic refusal to sign the confession (to use modern Russian terms) in so many places that it is quite bewildering — ... But what about the Courts of Love and their gradual extinction? The love the troubadours extolled made orthodoxy very thoughtful — in particular because it posited a new freedom for the woman, and a new role as a Muse and refiner of the coarser male spirit. This was not . to be relished by people who felt happier within the iron truss of the Inquisition . . . .51 If there is one generalization that can be made about the women of The Quartet it is that they are refiners and muses. Even Melissa as a prostitute refines. Her nobility and honesty deny Darley and Pursewarden the luxury of the pity they wish to feel for her and forces them to confront themselves. Deprived of Justine, Nessim becomes an obese parody of a Levantine businessman. About Clea and Liza there is no doubt. They form the Light and Dark halves of an imaginative portrait of the total Muse. Clea is a version of the courtly love heroine, as is Liza. Clea's only fault according to Pursewarden is that her beauty is too absolute (C, 771). Darley says that she is "too noble to love otherwise than passionately; and yet at the same time quite capable of loving someone to whom she spoke only once a year" (B_, 240-1). Her ideal nature and ability to discriminate between love and the physical presence of the lover is diametrically opposed to Justine's attitude towards Pursewarden when she declares that they wouldn't necessarily have to sleep together, but only see one another (B_, .295). Justine needs constant mental stimulation from others to replace the self-love she lacks. 43 She uses her body only to serve the cause which is her mental passion. In a flourish of language Durrell describes the Alexandria where body and mind function independently of each other and love is an escape from the monotony of life, a place where ascetism and prostitution seem to meet on equal terms: "It was not sex they offered in their monotonous seclusion among the yellow flares, but like the true inhabitants of Alexandria, the deep forgetfulness of parturition, compounded of physical pleasures taken without aversion" (J, 153). Critics have deprecated Durrell's use of Gnostic doctrine as a surface decoration, suggestive but not sustaining. John Arthos, in his article on Durrell's Gnosticism, intones: "It is one thing to let one's imagination explore a system of thought, and another to square it with one's commitments." He believes the soul of Durrell's Alexandria is only the mask of the author's own self-consciousness, "driven remorse lessly to disown the demands of ethics in order to claim a supernatural 52 and all-embracing significance for his isolation." The moralistic prison which Durrell condemns in The Black Book closes its critical bars upon him once more. The ethical complaint of Arthos is ironically answered by The Quartet, which is a parable about the attempt to dispel the Alexandrian division of life into sexual obsession and obsessive analysis while also keeping Judaeo-christian ethics at bay. The ironic moral historian in Durrell speaks through Pursewarden, who writes in the "Notes": Now if the Jews would only assimilate they would give us a valuable lead in the matter of breaking down puritanism everywhere. For they are the license-holders of the closed system, the ethical response! Even our absurd food 44 prohibitions and inhibitions are copied from their Melancholy priest-ridden rigamarole about flesh and foul. Aye! We artists are not interested in policies but in values — this is our field of battle! (C, 760) B. MADNESS AND THE IMAGE Involvement in power struggles, battles of the will and intrigues comprise the external views of destructive passion in The Alexandria  Quartet. ., Madness, and obsession with a delusive image of another person which almost completely conditions a character's perception of himself and his environment is the core of inner destructive love. Durrell skillfully unites the classical idea of love as a form of madness with modern psychological views on the subject. Friedman, in The Alexandria Quartet: Love for Art's Sake, quotes the passage from Rank included in Durrell's A Key to Modern Poetry which serves in The Quartet as Pursewarden's doctrine of the truly liberated artist as a personality-creator, divorced from the protection 53 from real life afforded by art. In terms of the love theme, this protection is given by the Muse whom the artist sets up as an image, a controlling visual picture. One of the significant technical details in Clea is the fact that the power of the image is destroyed and realized for what it is: a mental conjuration. Darley reflects upon Pursewarden's saying that one must come to terms with truth at last, and finds it: . . . nourishing — the,cold spray of a wave which carried one always a little farther towards self-realization. I saw now that my own Justine had indeed been an illusionist's creation, raised upon the faulty armature of misinterpreted words, actions, gestures. Truly there was no blame here; the real culprit was my love which had invented an image on which to feed. Nor was there any question of dishonesty, 45 for the picture was coloured after the necessities of the love which invented it. Lovers, like doctors, colouring an unpalatable medicine to make it easier for the unwary to swallow! (G, 694) The erection of the love-object as a romantic image of perfection results in self-delusion and inhibits self-love and active personality-creation of the type which Rank describes. Another consequence of obsessional love is the distortion of the natural flow of time, attended by ludicrous mental falsifications of reality. Narouz' love for Clea and Mountolive's for Leila portray the horrors of a childish dependence on a love-object. Durrell's paradoxical irony is most obvious in passages such as the one which describes Narouz' discovery of "true love" in the fact that he could hate Clea for one moment in time. But as Pursewarden says, time is affected by motion, one pace east or west can change everything; love can be affected by a trick of the senses, such as the voice of the Arab whore which Narouz mistakes for Clea's. In a moment of yearning and sexual release, he purges himself of Clea's image, the mental idealization of someone he hardly knew. The most horrifying example of self-destruction resulting from the deification of another person is Balthazar's passion for Panagotis. It is ironic (and a planned part of Darley's program of learning in Clea) that the characters who lent their, names to the first two volumes of the tetralogy should use the same words to describe the tortuous extremes of love which ended in a divorce from their way of giving meaning to life; a virtual state of temporary insanity. Both Balthazar and Justine experience a "desire to swallow the world." Both encounter a loss of the will; Justine because she can no longer function as the 46 amoral goddess in her field — the political chessboard. For Balthazar, the desire to swallow the world is equated with the wish "to drain the sore of love until it healed" (£, 704). The Balthazar who thought himself exempt from the sufferings of love has turned into a man who sees in the "dirty, venal and empty" actor Panagotis "the personage of Seleucia on whom Cavafy based his poem" (C_, 704) . Balthazar has not maintained the Greek division between the affairs of the mind and those of the body described by Wyndham Lewis. His "innate masculinity of Mind" has succumbed to the image of Panagotis. Durrell returns to modern psychology and has Balthazar describe his self-degradation in terms of the symbols which accompanied it. The examples of "love based on an eye-tooth, a disgust fathered by shortsight, a passion founded on hairy wrists," and the revulsion caused by Balthazar's own green finger-stall are clearly derived from Georg Groddeck (C_, 705) . As Durrell says in his preface to the Book of the It, Groddeck's literary work is not available in English. But the Book of the It gives ample evidence that what captivated Groddeck was "symbolization." He writes: The symbol was the very first thing I learned in the whole field of analytical knowledge, and it has since never lost its importance to me. A long, long road of fourteen years now lies behind me, and if I try to look back upon it, it is full of strange discoveries of symbolism, richly varied and shot through with changing colors .... That mental life is one continuous symbolization was to me so obvious that I impatiently pushed aside the masses of new thoughts and feelings — new to me, at least — that arose in me, and in mad haste pursued the working of symbolization in . organic disease. And this working was, to me, magical.->4 * The relation to psychology becomes even clearer when, after an enumeration of inanimate objects which induce love or hate, Balthazar continues to ask what one can say of this "very approximate science which has 47 carelessly overflowed into anthropology on one side, theology on the other? There is much they do not know as yet: for instance that one kneels in church because one kneels to enter a woman, or that circumcision is derived from the clipping of the vine, without which it will run to leaf and produce no fruit!" (C, 706). He is commenting on the vast number of symbols and associations which have yet to be organically related to life. But the fact remains for him, (in exactly the same words in which Melissa expressed the pain of separation from Darley), that with Panagotis gone, "everything in nature disappeared." The mirror which is life is only the surface upon which the symbols of the It reflect. And this absolute void in nature caused by the loss of the beloved image demonstrates Durrell's reversal of Descartes: "I am, therefore I can love.""*"' Darley reacts to Melissa's statement with the same non-understanding of this first proposition with which Clea fends off the unwanted obsession of Narouz — "But nobody has the right to occupy such a place in another's life, nobody.'" (B, 301). Balthazar has been trapped by the Absolute of Love while trying to maintain the most extreme form of the "human compromise" — the one for which Alexandria is famous — the median between the two points of extreme sensuality and intellectual asceticism. He realizes that he has not succeeded in being true to either pole; in fact love and intellect have undermined each other. Melissa's completely natural quality, the best part of her personality, vanishes when Pursewarden tells her some of the secrets of the world of intellect and intrigue. For a moment she can play Justine's role, and it makes the most innocent of creatures ugly and venal, eager to boast of old Cohen's importance. It 48 is Melissa's lack of vanity, not her lack of will, which makes her innocent. The appearance of her mirror, a broken fragment, is the symbol of this humility and the absence of physical innocence in a life in which her body can discharge the debts of a weaker Darley. Narouz also has a polarized personality which is easily distorted by new situations. On one hand he fights all ease and pleasure with daily hardship and the taming of both land and animals; on the other he kneels at Clea's feet emitting pitiful cries and acknowledging the weakness of his love. The power which makes love a "beast" and a form of madness is brought out in the account of Narouz taming a horse and in the documentation of Clea's feelings in the midst of her passion for Justine. In the case of Narouz: Nothing could finally tire that powerful body — not even the orgasm he had experienced in long savage battle .... His mind was a jumble of sharp stabbing colours and appre hensions — as if the whole sensory apparatus had melted in the heat like a colour-box, fusing thought and wish and desire. He was light-headed with joy and felt as unsubstantial as a rainbow. (B, 270) His fear that Clea is Nessim's intended transforms this feeling of elation into its opposite: "Narouz felt himself turned to ice — to a figure in a coat of mail . . . ." The aetiology of love and madness (the passage which "could serve not only for Clea but indeed for all of us"), describes changes in the nature of reality caused by a nervous breakdown due to love experienced by one of Balthazar's patients: Walking towards the studio she would suddenly feel herself become breathlessly insubstantial, as if she were a figure painted on canvas. Her breathing became painful. Then after a moment she was overtaken by a feeling of happiness and well-being so intense that she seemed to have become weightless .... This was itself succeeded by other disagreeable sensations — as of a hot clamp round her 49 skull, pressing it, of the beating of wings in her ears. Half-dreaming in bed, suddenly horns rammed downwards into her brain, impaling her mind; in a brazen red glare she saw the bloodshot eyes of the mithraic animal. (B_, 242) The fusing of sensation, the feeling of being simply an image on canvas reflects the complete loss of identity experienced by a mind in the grasp of passion. Darley, the observer in The Quartet, shares in the battle of the mind in love, but his detachment and ambivalence and the protection of art reserve full participation for Clea, when the actual war joins the metaphorical one. CHAPTER IV CHARACTERS Although Durrell considers Pursewarden a highly successful character, most critics and friends (including Henry Miller) disagree. Pursewarden's brutal honesty and loyalty to the life of his imagination is most impressive when it is contrasted with Darley's inability to organize the self which is "only a huge, disorganized and shapeless society of lusts and impulses." Darley is a model of the struggle for self-possession. Pursewarden is a model of the attainment of self-liberation. Pursewarden acts out the life of his imagination in the present. Darley is a slave to the past life of his imagination. All other major characters function in relation to these two figures and must be considered in conjunction with them. A. Darley Darley never succeeds in organizing his "society" of conflicting desires until the apocalyptic world of Alexandria at war lends a new meaning to survival. Images of battle, both personal and cultural, are a constant feature of Durrell's description of peace-time Alexandria. The enemies are the great Romantic lies: the myth of the perfect match, the image of the love-goddess, and the joy of losing oneself in passion. - 50 -51 The City is not only a place of power and danger, but also a battlefield, from which a person must be exceptionally strong to escape "heart-whole" after he has learned his lesson about fortune and love — before he can accept what Trilling terms "the offer of life." Cavafy's "The God Abandons Antony" (J_, 202) expresses this destructive power which must be responded to with a pride and resignation befitting the opponent, the City. Darley thinks of his own experience in Alexandria, starting "before I ever knew Melissa and ending somewhere soon in an idle pragmatic death in a city to which I did not belong" as a story — something already part of history and foredoomed. He continues his meditation: "I walked across this mirage of narrow intersecting alleys as one might walk across a battlefield which had swallowed up all the friends of one's youth; yet I could not help in delighting at every scent and sound — a survivor's delight" (J_, 154). In Justine the battle is fought primarily in order to escape the temptations of the body, the questioning of the sex act, and the pressure of fear and guilt. Darley feels like a survivor when he thinks he has identified the hunchbacked lover of the whore, who jumped up like "someone rising in a crowded tram to surrender his place to a inutile"" de la guerre" (J, 152). Later Balthazar's Interlinear will change Darley's mind and make him consider more closely the idea of quenching thirst for the beloved through a hired body. But at this point he accepts the ludicrous and tragic horror of the sex act and the position of the participants; thereby surviving the first snare of the "love beast." He believes that the desires of the flesh cannot destroy him now. Like Clea, who patiently awaits the end of the battle with her 52 own instincts, Darley has achieved the first step in depersonalizing the sex act. He considers himself to be "a person already formed who could not be broken" (J, 160). Even if this wholeness consists of detachment and naivete, it comprises his liberty in relation to Justine, because she cannot captivate or possess him. Darley defines possession in terms of battle: "to be passionately at war for the qualities in one another to contend for the treasures of each other's personalities" (J_, 161). Darley is involved in the battle for self-possession, but his ambivalence inhibits any direct action or control over his own destiny. Like Dick Gregory in The Black Book, he can only imagine his actions. Gregory describes the problem: "All my life I have done this — imagined my actions. I have never taken part in them. It is the catharsis of pure action which is so wounding an absolute to contemplate now."^ A passage in Balthazar reflects the blending of Darley's divided and intellectualized attitudes towards good and evil, life and death. Real life and the life of the imagination are hopelessly confused in Darley's mind. While Justine and Darley sit under the desert sky holding hands, Justine asks Darley the most commonplace lover's question: what is he thinking? Aloud he tells her to look at the star which was the Pole Star fourteen thousand years ago. But his interior reply is one of the few examples of stream-of-consciousness in The Quartet: What was I thinking? Of a passage in Proclus which says that Orpheus ruled over the silver race, meaning those who led a 'silver' life; on Balthazar's mantelpiece presumably among the pipe-cleaners and the Indian woodcarving of monkeys which neither saw, spoke nor heard evil, under a magic pentacle from Pythagoras. What was I thinking? The foetus in its waxen wallet, the locust squatting in the horn of the wheat, an Arab quoting a proverb which reverberated in the mind. 'The memory of man is as old as misfortune.' 53 The quails from the burst cage spread upon the ground softly like honey, having no idea of escape. In the Scent Bazaar the flavour of Persian lilac. (B, 368) Like Blake's "The Sick Rose," Darley's meditation pictures evil trapped within nature; while the outer appearance remains good, the three monkeys refuse to look; yet the memory of man cannot expunge it, and dumb animals no longer care to search for freedom because captivity is sweet. This list of ideas and sensations represents the inverted mind, incapable of acting to escape its own confines. Such a mind is incapable of realizing love in the active manner defined by Pursewarden; as a "help-meet" or in "loving-kindness." The passage points to its own significance because it is placed between two quotations from Pursewarden: "'The power of woman is such' writes Pursewarden 'that a single kiss can paraphrase the reality of a man's life and turn it . . .'," and "'They looked at each other, aware that there was neither youth nor strength enough between them to prevent their separation'" (B_, 368). Yet these words occur at a point at which Darley has fearfully suggested to Justine that he might have to go and confess their "love" to Nessim, and she has mockingly replied, "You could not do that. You are an Anglo-Saxon . . . you couldn't step outside the law like that, could you?" In this mockery of a love scene, complete with evasions, lies, and an ironic glimpse of the Egyptian outlaws against the silly moral authority represented by the Anglo-Saxon race, we see the romance already stripped away. Only the spirit of place, the natural backdrop of the desert, confers surface glamour and romantic atmosphere. Only the quotations from Pursewarden sound the note of passion, while the characters involved seem almost bloodless in their detachment. And the greatest irony of 54 all is contained in Darley's subsequent assertion that he now sees them all as "members of a city whose actions lay just outside the scope of the plotting or conniving spirit: Alexandrians" (B_, 369) . Mountolive will detail the plotting spirit and dispel the illusion of unity with the city — both passional and historical. Because it is Darley's voice which does the major narration through out most of The Quartet we tend to forget that at last he is an innocent, for he never finds out the truth (as Pursewarden does) about Melissa, or more factually, about the political conspiracy. He simply escapes Justine's grasp through the natural attainment of self-possession — through Time. In the end he remains only an observer; never exposed to the dilemma of Pursewarden and never forced to share in the vitally important correct analysis of other minds upon which Justine and Nessim depend for survival. For Darley, the exploration of love and power is little more than the pastime of an artistic mind wandering away from its true course and into the realm of criticism and analysis. The objective view given of Darley in Mountolive is often contemptuous. Justine calls him unobservant (M, 580) and Pursewarden wonders how he can handle two women when he seems so unable to possess himself (M, 480). In fact the judgment upon Darley shares the same metaphor — Turk — that Pursewarden uses to describe Maskeleyne, the epitome of the stiff, unimaginative army officer. "These modest British types — do they all turn out to be Turks secretly?" Pursewarden asks about Darley. Earlier he gives a portrait of the classic British 'Turk': "Well, since the Army discovered that imagination is a major factor in producing cowardice they have trained the Maskeleyne breed in the virtues of 55 counter-imagination: a sort of amnesia which is almost Turkish. The contempt for death has been turned into a contempt for life and this type of man accepts life only on his own terms" (M, 475). Although this is an exaggeratedly harsh judgment when applied to Darley, it must be acknowledged that in his fact-finding attempts to conquer his imagination and search for truth he is a minor version of the agent of counter-imagination. Instead of allowing himself to receive impressions and react upon them naturally, he interrogates his feelings and rearranges them — not in the order of memory, but in the order in which they fit into the merely personal significance which events acquired in his mind. Thus in Clea he is completely surprised by his new feeling of revulsion towards Justine; he can barely suppress the temptation to "embrace her once more in order to explore this engrossing and inexplicable novelty of feeling further!" (C_, 695). He asks himself if it is possible that "a few items of information merely, facts like sand trickling into the hour-glass of the mind, had irrevocably altered the image's qualities . . . ." Even at this late stage 'Darley cannot reconcile the real and the remembered. He reveals his need to avoid a merely intellectual curiosity and recover the lost innocence of the true story-teller by writing "Once upon a time." He is no longer telling a story, but merely analyzing the impact of new facts upon the image. The fictive quality of his own former biography is exposed, but at the same time his desire to write and his confidence in his ability to become a writer fade with "the impulse to confide in the world" (C_, 839). Here Darley's conception of literary inspiration is childishly innocent and superficial, as well as highly Romantic (in the sense of "the dialogue of the mind with itself"). Durrell 56 is in favour of a style which reaches beyond the confessional. In contrast with the confessional mode of Darley and Arnauti, Pursewarden's savage compartmentalization of his private agonies does seem "Classical." B. Pursewarden — and Relation to Other Characters Pursewarden's exaltation as an artist and man of letters, Scobie's attainment of sainthood, Balthazar's reinstatement in his clinic, and the apotheosis of Romantic Love in the case of Amaril and Semira, have 57 been noted as examples of the "regeneration" characteristic of Clea. The most obvious common denominator between these regenerations is that what has been of private and personal value, given as a confidence or as privileged information to some of the characters, becomes to a large extent public property. This depersonalization creates a unity of being which was impossible for the struggling individuals of the first three volumes. In Durrell's own philosophic terminology, depersona lization means "preservation in essence" and an entry into the freedom of the heraldic universe. Pursewarden cannot be recalled in physical detail and preserved in a private way from history, whose property he has become. Even his room at the "Mount Vulture" has been changed into a brothel. With his private letters, which remain unknown to all but Liza, Mountolive and Darley, the private Pursewarden disappears, leaving only his public testament to survive him (including the "Conversations with Brother Ass"). Even Henry Miller, who eulogized The Quartet, failed to find something which Durrell had expressly asked him to note. From the correspondence, it is obvious that this special point dear to the author 57 relates to Pursewarden. Miller writes, "What I missed, by obtusity, no doubt, was what you told me to look for. Unless it was those notes of Pursewarden." After a criticism of Pursewarden as a character, and a digression he returns to the subject: "To come back to Pursewarden. Maybe I should reread all four books and see afresh. No doubt I've missed the boat somewhere." Miller also asks if there is a special reason for Durrell's habit of "making characters speak through exchange 5 8 of letters." I make no claim to find that Miller could not, but the process which repeats itself is the transmutation of life and personal experience into literature, or into love in silence, in the dimension of the dream-world. When Clea remarks near the beginning of Justine, "There are only three things to be done with a woman .... You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature," Darley is achieving none of these goals, but Pursewarden is living out all three, although the reader has not yet been introduced to him. Pursewarden loves and suffers silently; his voice is heard only in literary works or in ironic statements. Arnauti, whom Darley studies in Justine, has the mania to explain, the rational disease which Pursewarden opposes with his life and his art. Only a direct vision of his own attachment to the rational de-Sadian illness of the European mind, an arrival at Pursewarden's state, can truly bring Darley out of Arnauti's world and into Pursewarden's. "For Clea too," writes Darley, "the little book of Arnauti's upon Justine seemed shallow and infected by the desire to explain everything." "'It is our disease' she said 'to want to contain everything within the frame of reference of a psychology, a philosophy'" (J_, 68). The particular 58 reference is to Justine, who is uncontainable, because, "Like all amoral people she verges on the Goddess." Justine fails as a lover in the eyes of Darley, but retains her amoral and goddess-like capacity for change and regeneration of a type which is impossible for any of the more prosaic characters. Clea's description of Justine's seduction of Memlik contains the true quality of the immoral and primitive goddess, playing a dangerous world-affecting game with the human desires. The portrait is both transcendent and farcical. Justine is classical in the sense that she does not isolate herself and submit to the inner private life of the romantic, but uses the external world to her benefit. Arnauti and Justine are compared to a minor Antony and Cleopatra in Justine, and the protagonist herself, like Cleopatra, may shrink in the view of ordinary morality to the dimensions of a scheming and empty-headed temptress, yet retain a stature above and beyond what Balthazar terms an intellectual tendency to "isolate a moral quality in the free act." Balthazar describes the ultimate depersonalization in the very depths of the subconscious when he continues: "All love-making to one less instructed than oneself has the added delicious thrill which comes from the consciousness of perverting, of pulling them down into the mud from which passions rise — together with poems and theories of God. It is wiser perhaps not to make a judgement!' (B, 244) . Justine and Pursewarden form negatives, or reversed shadows of the matched "right" pair. They remain basically unchanged through the four volumes, although their images in the eyes of others are constantly shifting. Both have personalities which adapt to situations, but remain amorphous in their outlines. They refuse to compromise, ,59 to solidify and accept the "arbitration of time." Justine reports that Pursewarden told her that her sense of guilt was atrophied (C_, 695) . Only the reader discovers that Pursewarden's gift of cash to Darley and Melissa was an attempt to "cure these twinges of a puritan conscience which lurked on underneath the carefree surface of an amoral life" (M, 528). Pursewarden admires Justine's lack of guilt and is contemptuous of the neuroses which mar her character. Justine, like the classical type, sustains herself on experience but is not enriched or enlightened by it; Pursewarden envies her the freedom from the romantic sense of guilt and the need to grow and learn to know oneself through experience. "Cities, Plains and People" perhaps contains the key to their protean immortality: So better with the happy Discover than with the wise Who teach the sad valour Of endurance through the seasons, In change the unchanging Death by compromise. ^ Although it might be hard to think of Justine and Pursewarden as "happy," it is the ironic sense of the paradoxical logic of love, the Laughter, that these characters alone can share. Justine tells Darley how she laughed when she discovered the equipment with which.every Copt proposes in Narouz' closet, ready to send to Clea. To Darley's naturally surprised query she replies, "Yes, laughed until the tears ran down my cheeks. But I was really laughing at myself, at you, at all of us. One stumbles over it at every turn of the road, doesn't one; under every sofa the same corpse, in every cupboard the same skeleton? What can one do but laugh?" (C, 698). 60. The suggestion that Pursewarden and Justine share something in common, and even that both of them recognize the fact, echoes through the four volumes. These two characters live.out the illusions of personality. Their roles are constantly shifting, their masks changing; they accept the necessity of role-playing which the other characters only give lip-service to. Nessim complains to Justine about the tiresomeness of acting a part.. She replies, "Sh, Nessim! Then I should not know who I was" (M, 581). Both Justine and Pursewarden are living mockeries of the standard personality, that unitary whole with its limited scope. Clea claims to be the "only person to have loved Pursewarden for himself while hewas-alive ... I loved him for himself, I say, because strictly he had no self." She mentions Darley saying that Justine "also says something like this," but proceeds to dismiss it as a woman's natural attraction to a man with plenty of female intuition (C_, 735) . But there is a delicate battle waged between Justine and Pursewarden to be the "truer pagan." Justine reports to Nessim that Pursewarden is dangerous because, "'He is somehow coid and clever and self-centred. Completely amoral — like an Egyptian! He would not deeply care if we died tomorrow. I cannot reach him'" (M, 562). Yet Pursewarden is disgusted by his false compassion for Melissa, and still tries to purge himself of the remains of puritan conscience hidden by an amoral exterior. With Melissa, in Mountolive'.s central scene, Pursewarden plays the role of comic drunk and lover until she inadvertently reaches his emotions. The highest irony is that Melissa humbly and unknowingly touches the literary core of Pursewarden's existence — the love, the 61 muse, and the "story" of his own life, which he continually writes in his mind — instantly transforming the experience into the impersonal medium of words. His shifting outer skin of thought, the inexplicable acts which comprise his daily life, have been stripped away; his "point faible" left exposed before he has been able to turn it into literature. The predatory Justine, whom Clea compares to an animal digging to find Pursewarden' s secret strength (C_, 735), would understand the psychic shock of this unmasking; the pain of a direct confrontation with his method of giving meaning to experience. Melissa and Nessim are referred to as a "doomed brother and sister" when they enter a love which is "the stepchild of confession and release" (J, 165), and like Pursewarden and Liza, the full realization of their selves occurs only in the historic-mythic past or in an unattainable future. It is no wonder that these characters have so little concern for their bodies. They are the exemplars of an Alexandria of the mind from which death must free one of them. The scene between Pursewarden and Melissa in Mountolive is one that could best be claimed as the centre of Durrell's love theme; and the most important in revealing the "conspiracy of the mind against itself" that is the mode of living of the City's exemplars. Before Melissa tells his fortune, we have the last glimpse of the Pursewarden who has successfully transformed personal failure and bitterness against Anglo-Saxon restrictions upon the freedom of love into a literature of moments captured freshly and immediately. It is here that Durrell uses the greatest of the City's poetic exemplars, C. P. Cavafy, as the Alexandrian complementary of Pursewarden. Although this link is not as clear as 62 the relation of D. H. Lawrence, I believe that it is fairly obvious if this sordid and already "guillotined" love scene, with its dirty sheets, decomposing manuscripts and failure of the "biological memory" is compared to the setting of one of Cavafy's love poems; and the way in which he transformed the fleeting experience of the body into epigrammatic written memorials is set side by side with the following description of Pursewarden's method: "As usual, at a level far below the probings of self-disgust or humiliation, he was writing, swiftly and smoothly in his clear mind. He was covering sheet upon sheet of paper. For so many years now he had taken to writing out his life in his own mind — the living and the writing were simultaneous. He transferred the moment bodily to paper as it was lived, warm from the oven, naked and exposed . . .". (M, 530). When Melissa's palmis try foretells his death, Pursewarden repeats to himself the verses he had written for Justine on the subject of the "Check," and the pain of meeting the truth directly. He sees Justine sitting in exactly the same pose as Melissa, "holding his hand with sympathy" (M, 532). His bitterness explodes, but he banishes the memories which caused it and reverts to the story of his own life, as a historic-mythic chronicle: "'Later, in search of an askesis he followed the desert fathers to Alexandria, to a place between two deserts, between the two breasts of Melissa. O morosa delectatio. And he buried his face there among the dunes, covered by her quick hair'" (M, 533). Instead of preservation of the naked experience, which creates the "heraldic" mode, we get a kind of historical self-pity, and a kinship with Justine admitted. Pursewarden's life of unmatched perfection with 63 Liza consisted of an enchanted-castle life of studying La Lioba, one of the foremost Catharist ladies. Justine's "Noble Self" is an electrified skull, "a visitant from distant mythology" (J, 113). Like Justine and Nessim, Liza and Pursewarden are incestuous brother and sister, complementing each other's hopeless aridity to create an ideal world of fulfillment, and by so doing, becoming half-selves, idolatrously worshipping what they lack; concepts resurrected from history rather than living people. Both great hetaerae who live through their involvement in the affairs of men, and incestuous love have a prominent place in the history of Alexandria but have been made taboo by the modern European ethical system. Durrell's palimpsest technique is shown at its best in this central scene in Mountolive. Historical Alexandria as a spatial reality of the present is still recording the same story of incest and empty sexual encounters. On the temporal plane, Clea's declaration that pitying love is the most dangerous form is realized. Melissa, who confronts life too honestly, succeeds in wresting Pursewarden's secret from him, where Justine, who would rather swallow the world than confront it, failed. The artist faces his conflict with love. He cannot accept pity or share the life of his imagination. Isolated in this manner, he must either transmute his life into literature or confront the actual death which must follow the death of his feelings. The artist must lovingly submit to the transitoriness of even the strongest emotional events and tenderly preserve them, without bitterness at this passing. Da Capo voices a rare meditation (ironically, just before his impending "death") on his father's ability to "say things 64 so pointed that they engage the attention and memory of others," and wishes that he could leave as much behind him (J, 171). If there is a hero in The Quartet, it must be Pursewarden, and Da Capo's remarks follow a discussion of Pursewarden's novels in which Capodistria sees old Parr the sensualist, with his apology that his skirt-fever is really beauty-hunger, as a version of himself. Da Capo feels that the astonishing fact about Pursewarden's novels is that "he presents a series of spiritual problems as if they were commonplaces and illustrates them with his characters." This is the technique which Durrell uses to engage attention and make The Quartet a kind of open-ended partial biography, not only of the characters within it, but of Everyman. Cavafy has attained the level of a sort of divinity in this world of verbal preservation of personal emotion and self-discovery. Like Pursewarden, whose "irony was really tenderness turned inside out like a glove"- (C_, 791) , and Da Capo's father, of whom it seems possible that "his ironies concealed a wounded spirit" (J_, 171) , Cavafy had "an exquisite balance of irony and tenderness ..." (J_, 79). Balthazar feels that Cavafy was "catching every minute as it flew and turning it upside down to expose its happy side. He was really using himself up, his inner self, in living." Again, this is the function of the Romantic artist according to Rank. The Classical artist uses material from the external world, but the true romantic derives his inspiration almost entirely from within. Durrell explores the differentiation between the notions of Classical and Romantic in The Quartet as well as the distinction between Eros and Agape. Pursewarden points to a parallel between the body-mind division, the departure of ethics from its Greek separation from the pleasures 65 of the flesh, and the development of the Western novel, which departs from the free fantasy of the Arabian Nights tales and the balanced mixture of sex and romance characteristic of Chaucer. Pursewarden wants to restore the "wholy bloody range" (C, 755). There are normal external barriers to romance in the Quartet, such as the poverty which conditions Melissa's life, but the basic conflict is reflected in the case of the blind child which finally separated Liza and Pursewarden through fear and guilt over a hereditary defect which they felt was a result of breaching the incest taboo. Denis de Rougemont questions the almost diabolic insistence of the Western literary tradition of love upon a unity which ignores the diversity of life itself: "Can it be in order to please author and reader? It is all one; for the demon of courtly love which prompts the lovers in their inmost selves to the devices that are the cause of their pain is the very demon of the novel as we in the West like it to be."^ The European Eros, with its demand for a condition in which "absolute unity must be the negation of the present human being in his suffering multiplicity" allows no fulfillment for lovers. Pursewarden asserts that the epic romances of Chaucer are the type of literature he would like to produce, but that given the sophistication of the modern audience this is impossible. Robert Scholes points out, in The Fabulators, that Durrell is following an Alexandrian romantic-epic tradition; a multi-episode, multi-character style which is a close relative of the fable and the fairy-tale. He cites the Ethiopica of Heliodorus as a work which "stands very much in the same relation to the Homeric epics as Durrell's Quartet does to such great realistic novels of the nineteenth century 66 as Anna Karenina and Middlemarch." The multiplicity of narrators, set pieces and time distortions are common to both The Quartet and the Ethiopica. Scholes continues to underscore the fact that the "Once upon a time" which ends The Quartet is characteristic of the Greek-Egyptian literature of Alexandria and not of the "epic contours" referred to by Pursewarden.^ But Pursewarden's last reported words indicate that he had decided to write a book "'all about Love'" (M, 541), and the experience of listening to Justine relate the old Arab love epic, which is "one of the most significant and memorable moments of a writer's life" (C, 769), affects him so deeply that when he sleeps that night his muse, Liza, appears to him in the guise of Yuna. Yet this Liza-Yuna figure is a mummy, and Pursewarden must bury his dream in the desert sands. This parable is equal in impact to the one which concludes Clea and is directly linked to Pursewarden's apprehension of Melissa as a totally natural being. She cannot understand his irony or his melancholy romanticism. Pursewarden fails to write as he wishes to, just as he fails to love the way he imagines he should. In The  Quartet the only examples of Pursewarden's literary works are romantic poetry based on Liza or the distant irony of God is a_ Humorist. Pursewarden sees a new definition of naturalism in the absolutely natural response of the audience to the imagination of the art. It is a vision of a truly loving relationship between the teller of the tale and the listeners; a stirring ideal of the possibility of a time when everyone could listen with the extreme "right attention" of the child prostitutes who hear Justine: "The poetry had stripped them to the bone and left only their natural selves to flower thus in expressions faithfully 67: portraying their tiny stunted spirits!" (C, 769). Again the movement is one which attempts to escape the claustrophobic confines of individual psychology and subjectivity, to move from the private and highly intellectualized "Romantic agony" to the more public shared naivety of the Arabian Nights tales, where love and pain are displayed in stories 62 of "what may be called the etiology of mutilation." The power of love should strip away the outer masks the same way the power of poetry does, and leave the spirit exposed, whether stunted or not. Cavafy achieved this goal; he exposed the pain of love with a tenderness which was never eclipsed by sentiment or irony. C. Melissa The scene that might be termed tragic in view of the love-plight of modern man is the one in which Pursewarden and Melissa dance together in the club where she works. The major question and answer of this episode is reported twice in The Quartet in an antonymic verbal form which has a synonymous meaning. The first occasion occurs in Justine, where Pursewarden's query is: "Comment vous defendez-vous contre la solitude?" Her reply: "Monsieur, je suis devenue la solitude meme" (J_, 163) . Mountolive, which recounts the "actual" incident, instead of the remembered anecdote, has Pursewarden ask with drunken irony: "Melissa, comment vous defendez-vous contre la foule?" Her reply: "Monsieur, je ne me defends plus." While she answers she makes a gesture, "as if indicating a total world . . ." (M, 526). Melissa confronts the shadow-side of life honestly. She readily admits that she suffers from a condition common to all The Quartet characters, as well as modern literature and modern society. 68 The value of Durrell's Alexandrian setting and inhabitants rests in the ability of the best of them, like Cavafy, to plumb the depths of the psyche where perversions and religions are born; to confront the fear and trembling of a mind and body surrounded by the most diverse fellows of the human kind. Despite his oblique and decorative style, Durrell ranks with the great writers in his ironic depiction of the difficulty of confronting the lower or shadow side of life. Few speeches could be more demonstrative of the mind's will to believe in another's love when all the conditions of reality give the lie to illusion, than Melissa's reply to Pursewarden's stark question, "Does Darley know?" (referring to her prostitution). "'Oh yes' she said quietly. 'You know, he is very good. Our life is a struggle, but he knows me. He trusts me. He never asks for any details. He knows that one day when we have enough money to go away I will stop all this. It is not important for us.' It sounded quaint, like some fearful blasphemy in the mouth of a child" (M, 527). Melissa is the antithesis of all romantic passion, all guilt feelings linked to society, all efforts at intrigue against herself or others. She is described as a "statue of pride hanging its head" (J_, 53); a person robbed of all narcissism. Pride, in Melissa, causes increased ugliness rather than beauty. Pursewarden is trapped by what Clea calls the laws of shyness: "you can only give yourself, tragically, to those who least understand" (J_, 97) . He has confided in Melissa, someone who cannot understand his internalized moral dilemma because she has experienced only the grotesque reality of love on the streets. Durrell is showing us the perfect unreason of the logic of love; paradoxical logic which plays 69 cruel tricks on the emotions. This moment of shared secrets, apparently devoid of intrigue, is itself a victim of the fatal gap in the defences of the conspirators Justine and Nessim. The triumphant second of confidences exchanged in tenderness, without the daggers of treachery or power to stale and wound the spontaneous emotion, is killed by the external force of the political plot. Melissa's portrait is especially striking in view of the city's history because she is a displaced Greek; one of the survivors of the Hellenistic race stranded on the shores of Alexandria. Although her life is the most debased among those who are major characters, she is perhaps in her honesty, naturalness and child-like trust, the most moral character in The Quartet. Durrell's idea of morality is best illustrated by Melissa's inability to fall prey to false sentiment. The fact that she refuses to visit old Cohen on his deathbed does not indicate the same shrinking from the force of another's devotion as does Clea's refusal (and eventual compliance); to attend the dying Narouz. Melissa does not think of herself as one imposed upon by the unwanted affection of Cohen; she simply knows that in her life, miserable as it is, he meant nothing. Apart from Cavafy, with his pan-Hellenic poetry, Melissa is Durrell's only Greek figure, desperately, even heroically attempting to hold onto the Greek idea of the individual soul which Pursewarden discusses in the "Notes" (C, 768). The fact that both Clea and Melissa receive a deathbed plea which they reject shows their real knowledge of the nature of these desperate calls and their own uncompromising emotional stance. Clea perceives that Narouz seems to be confessing his love in the "tone of a man talking to himself" (B_, 375) . When Melissa 70 declines to see Cohen, Darley becomes a witness to the "dense jungle of his illusions ..." (J, 91). As Cohen unconsciously reveals his deepest self he talks about three woman or female names. Darley assumes that the third mentioned, Rebecca, must be his daughter, "for it is the children who deliver the final coup de grace in all these terrible transactions of the heart ..." . (J_, 92). The whore, the wife and the daughter all merge into one portrait of remorse and regret. Even in the life of old Cohen there are three versions of the verb "love" — the only thing which can sustain a man in the face of a lapse of the will to live. But love cannot be exploited by the dying ego, finally humbled to the point of begging. Durrell may over-dramatize, but his deathbed scenes are powerful reminders of the fate of those who fail to confront their true feelings and lack the courage to express their love. D. Clea and Balthazar Clea and Balthazar suffer such severe wounds in Clea because they have tried to remain aloof and unaffected by the emotional battles going on all around them. An important hint of Clea's future role and an explanation of her apparent ability to outlast the ravages of love, even when physically affected by passion, is given in Balthazar. Her effort to stave off her feeling for Justine is a vain one, but "She knew that the heart wearies of monotony, that habit and despair are the bedfellows of love, and she waited patiently, as a very old woman might, for the flesh to outgrow its promptings, ..." (B, 242). The attitude of an aged woman, awaiting the death of instinctive urges, confirms Clea as a non-participant in the carnival search for identity, 71 a defeatist in the violent carnal world of Alexandria; one who is not fully alive because she refuses to inflict the necessary wounds upon herself. This is the major reason for her famous injury, and links her non-involvement to that of Balthazar. Balthazar's foolishness in his love for Panagotis presents a glaring contradiction to his avowed freedom from the affliction in the volume which bears his name. His homosexuality supposedly allows his mind to roam amidst the poetry of calculus, free of the enslavement of romantic passion. Here Balthazar and Clea share a common condition. The Clea of the early volumes has had only one affair — a lesbian one with Justine. Although she realizes that she belongs to men, she remains virginal and aloof until she goes to Syria. She has yet to become a survivor of Alexandria. Groddeck writes that it is not homosexuality which is hard for him to understand (as it is an obvious consequence of self-love), but the contrary: how the interest in the opposite sex develops remains a puzzle.^ He also asserts that Christ understood this basic contradiction perfectly when He said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." What psychology calls narcissism is the instinct toward self-gratification, and Christ "made clear His conviction that man gives most of his love to himself, and the prattle of good people He called Pharisaical and 64 hypocritical, which indeed it is." Clea makes a definitive speech about love, and its limited allotment to any one person, which concludes: "For its destination lies somewhere in the deepest regions of the psyche where it will come to recognize itself as self-love, the ground upon which we build the sort of health of the psyche. I do not mean egoism or narcissism" (J, 109). To possess genuine self-love is to become 72 depersonalized in the non-egotistical sense; to lose the desire to prove or analyze oneself. But this positive depersonalization brings with it the ability to share love, and not the void created by the loss of the beloved which results in the anguished cry, "Everything in nature disappeared." Clea and Balthazar are the most verbally philosophic inhabitants of The Quartet and through most of the work they retain a kind of protective wall between themselves and the general sexual melee. Clea cherishes the memory of her affair with Justine and, except for a humorous request to Pursewarden to deprive her of her virginity, remains untouched until the reported affair with Amaril. Balthazar's affairs are not detailed until the disastrous infatuation with Panagotis is also reported after the fact. Scobie, the other major homosexual character, has a perfect "father and daughter" relation with Clea. Balthazar tends the sick and Clea not only functions as clinic artist, but also sees Melissa out of life, coaches Semira, and generally performs the services of nurse and mentor. Although these two characters are parties and witnesses to more of The Quartet's secrets than anyone else, and although they are presented as being more objective, they have a highly developed individual way of perceiving events which also serves to protect them. Balthazar sees through the mysticism of the Cabal or the starkness of the city's genito-urinary system. Clea's romantic and innocent vision allows her to make assertions which are often absolute, but lack empathy with the sufferings of those she comments upon. Definitely both Clea and Balthazar are to some extent inverts who value self-love more highly than most Alexandrians, but need a wounding and painful encounter with the opposing desires of others to attain a true equilibrium. E. Variations on the Holy Man In another display of paradoxical irony, Durrell creates two holy men for The Quartet who could not possibly be farther from each other in personality, although both are marvelously self-identified. The blind preacher at Memlik's "Night of God" and Scobie share an ability to unite others through the unique gift of themselves. The only demonstra tion in The Quartet of the belief that each person has the ability to be an artist if his spirit is awakened, simply by a word like Edelweiss or the call of the muezzin, is given by the blind preacher. He is "full of the kinetic beauty of a human being whose soul has become a votive object" (M, 605). Here is the only approximation of totally happy love in The Quartet; poised between two worlds, it is termed "ghostly content ment of an absolute faith in something which was the more satisfying for not being fully apprehended by the reason." The old man inspires a group of venal scheming businessmen to breathless sighs and silent contemplations. Memlik, the most grotesque miser in Alexandria, starts the proceedings with the words: "The only way to become united with God is by constant intercourse with him" (M, 606). The audience immediately compose themselves into an attitude of extreme attention. The images which follow describe the awakening of natural forces. The old sheik enthralls his listeners, who "followed the notation of the verses as they fell from his lips with care and rapture, gradually seeking their 74 way together out into the main stream of the poetry, like a school of fish following a leader by instinct out into the deep sea" (M, 607). This is Durrell's evocation of the art buried in the inmost heart of every man, which can be brought to light by simple right attention, by tenderness. Here there is no fear of losing or revealing a part of the self which is compartmentalized or kept secret. This episode's relation to the love theme becomes clearer when contrasted with the world-infected image of the battle of Eros which escapes Pursewarden during his night with Melissa: "The shark-infested seas of love which closed over the doomed sailor's head in a voiceless paralysis of the dream, the deep-sea dream which dragged one slowly downwards, dismembered and dismembering ..." (M, 531). He sees in Melissa's sexual slang (the term "la Veuve") only another metaphor for a lost tenderness extended into a hideous mimicry of castration. The sea imagery reflects the two poles: the pure natural instinct of the animated heart and the touch of the central pulse of life and the opposed devouring, diminishing and cannibal forces within the mind. Durrell's gift is the display of paradox within synthesis: the ability to actually convey the "whole bloody range." The character Scobie is the crowning achievement in this area; for, in almost all of Scobie's speeches, loves normally designated religious and holy, loves called perverse or sexual, merge and blur boundaries and remain indefinable by any kind of code; ethical, religious or moral. And it is Scobie who explains his homosexual "Tendencies" by telling Darley: "'It's the lack of tenderness, old man. It all depends on cunning, somehow, you get lonely'" (B_, 227). Scobie is a triumph of the absurd 75 vision coupled with great humour; together they produce a human solidity which the other prototypes lack. The unusually honest and realistic assertions which he makes about his condition, such as the avowal that he could never lay a finger on Abdul, or that he is not fully Answerable when in his transvestite costume, are symptomatic of what might be called philosophic resignation when exhibited by any other character. In Scobie, these truisms reflect a bedrock level of consciousness, an absence of illusion, as opposed to the aphoristic experimentation of the more sophisticated and less honest. CHAPTER V THE BATTLE OF CLEA Darley had started out in Justine to search for truth, but Justine herself tells him in Clea that he prefers a "mythical picture framed by the five senses" (C_, 693) . Ironically, Justine tells him this at a point where it has already become unnecessary. He has begun to perceive more than a static fresco of images surrounded by the senses. As noted before, Mountolive exhibits the height of the fresco and Pursewarden's death liberates Mountolive"s vision and sets him free in the time-stream to "improvise" (another word which signifies active personality-creation). The death forced a change in his fixed set of personal relations, operating by code and convention rather than by true affection. It is Pursewarden's decision not to live with illusion any longer that forces Leila to meet Mountolive and dissolves his mythical image of Egypt. The entire crisis relieves him of a burden of sentiment and memory and enables him to act. Like Darley, he wishes to bring back the image he once held, but reality has forced growth beyond sentiment. Pursewarden has enacted the most extreme form of liberation from the absolute of Love and joined himself to his hidden burden of emotion, his private dream. In Clea, the remaining characters are relieved of a hoard of memories and feelings which make up a totally private and incommunicable world of invention and imagination. 77 In Clea, the images erected by memory and dream, which enslaved the characters in a kind of bondage to the forms of their imagination are torn down. The idols and eidolons disappear or are not recognized. The predominance of the visual sense, the power to evoke the image by "the mere act of seeing" (C_, 694) is ended. The most striking symbolic demonstration of this loss of meaning through the visual memory is effected in the scene in which Darley attempts to recapture Melissa, and finds her so completely vanished that not even the black and white detail of a picture can restore the actual events or words of a forgotten afternoon. The relation of this event to Pursewarden and to literature constitutes the paradoxical irony of Darley's discovery. As Melissa reached behind Pursewarden's literary self to become a reality in his eyes instead of an image, Darley wore out the real being through using her in his literary work. The transmutation has come full circle.. Words parted to reveal the natural woman for Pursewarden, while Darley obliterated his individual identity in his writing. The illusions of Darley's confessional history of Alexandria have been "written out"; the reign of what he calls the "lying self-deception so natural to sentimentalists" (C, 681) terminated. The 'sadic' tendency is defined in Swann's Way as the adoption of melodrama by the sentimentalist as a means of justifying the act of pleasure by making it appear evil. Darley has surpassed the sadic tendency in himself which caused the exaggerated fears and 65 self-deceptions of Justine. What sounds natural in the mouth of Melissa, with her Greek wish for angels to watch over Darley, the completely natural quality that Pursewarden finds in her, seems out of place when quoted by Balthazar. 78 As an epitaph to a love affair, "everything in nature disappeared" (C, 706) is powerful and as easily remembered as the cry of Narouz for Clea. Durrell may be demonstrating the echoing recurrence of words and emotions; a kind of transposition of Melissa's feeling when even her memory has become faint. More probably, this repetition is a reminder of the inexorable demands of the physical plane, and a further destruction of the delusive images of love of the first three books. The illness that Melissa dies of is the symbolic equivalent of Clea's near-death — a failure of the sexual nature. Melissa's desire for death, in a world in which she has known little else but the most solitary moments of professional sex, is accompanied by a wish that Clea make love to Darley. Only in Clea are the lovers freed from the domination of passionate love. Clea ceases her love-making with Darley because she is being terrorized by the hauntings of Narouz, whose living touch she shrank from. After the accident with the spear gun she lies in the same bed which Melissa occupied and tells Darley that although she loved Amaril the sex act convinced her that he was not the man for her. And we remember Melissa's description of Darley as a lover. He was not lover enough; could not give Melissa enough love to keep her alive. Scobie's "scrying" predicted that Darley would not have the strength to rescue Clea when the dark one tried to drag her to the underworld. Finally,: in artificial respiration, by this "pitiful simulacrum of the sexual act — life-saving, life-giving," (C_, 851) Darley succeeds in loving Clea with an action forceful enough to defeat the "horror" (C_, 855) supposedly inflicted by Narouz, the strongest representative of the cruelties of distorted passion, and the character who set Clea up as an unobtainable image of love. 79 Deliverance from a struggle with the passions is described in terms which mimic religious revelation. Clea delivers a message about her artistic rebirth at the end of The Quartet: "I have crossed the border and entered into the possession of my kingdom, thanks to the Hand" (C_, 874). When Darley returns to Clea initially, he feels as though he has been on a "huge arid detour in a desert of my own imaginings" (C, 726). The battle of Clea is not so much an external one, fought against the desires of others and the will of the City, as it is an internal subconscious drama. Durrell employs a Romantic-epic style and a decorative multiplicity of background in the three earlier volumes to a greater degree than in Clea, which restores not only actual chronology, but also creates a theatre for the inner drama of the characters' subconscious. C. S. Lewis parallels the experiences of the age in which allegory was born to those of a beginner in modern psychology,^ and also points out that "the gaze turned inward with a moral purpose does not discover character. No man is a 'character' to himself, and least of all while he thinks of good and evil. Character is what he has to produce; within he finds only the raw material, the passions and emotions which contend for mastery. That unitary 'soul' or 'personality' which interests the novelist is for him merely the arena in which the combatants meet: it is to the combatants — those 'accidents occurring in a substance' — that he must attend."^7 In a footnote to the above he concludes that, "As Passions become People for the allegorist, so x (in the unconscious) becomes Passions for the analyst; or at least he can talk of them only as if they were 'desires' .... As the first century dived into the psychological by the aid of Personification the twentieth dives to 80 the sub-soul by the aid of 'Passionification'." The Quartet is full of examples of the "Passionification" process, such as the portrait of Clea at the moment when she realizes the conflict between "good" and "evil," desire and disgust, which creates the passion for Justine in the surprised "personality" who is herself an analyst of the battlefield of her own psyche. Clea is puzzled because "these disgusts came from precisely the same quarters as the desire to hear once more that hoarse noble voice — they too arose only from the expectation of seeing her beloved once more. These polarities of feeling bewildered and frightened her by their suddenness" (B, 241). The reader is- forced to ask: What are our values based on if our desires and our perception of them is as sudden and as polarized as this? Darley finds it necessary to describe Justine and Nessim to the child "in terms of myth or allegory — the poetry of Infant uncertainty" (C, 661). He saw that "the main theatre (of the heart's affections, of memory, of love?) was the same; yet the differences of detail, of decor stuck out obstinately" (C, 670). The City is a theatre this time, and also "the city of childhood" (C, 671). Examples proliferate: "the whole toybox of Egyptian life" (C, 675), "Alexandria has become a huge orphanage" (C_, 732), Liza's voice, "which might have been that of uncertain adolescence" (C_, 783) , the group of people who wait on the pier after Fosca's fatal accident "in great patience and submissiveness like children" (C, 819), and Pombal scribbling dragons and whorls on a pad, "Just like a child" (C_, 821) . The reader and the characters are prepared for a Yuna and Aziz fairy-tale world; are indoctrinated into the uncertain ability of children to believe what they can intensely 81 feel, but cannot explain. The power of prophecy is felt as a reality, especially in the instance of Mountolive's appearance in Liza's life, so that when Scobie's prediction about Clea comes true it seems a natural part of events in the theatre of Clea. A really new cycle has begun for the prototypes; one in which statues are torn from the marble block and set free to live, in which youth ends forever in order that a new youthfulness of determination and self-sufficiency can begin. As Liza finishes burning Pursewarden's letters she is silent, "her head hanging in profound concentration over this ancient image, like a soothsayer gazing fixedly into the dark crystal of youth" (C_, 804) . The symbolic suspense is sustained through the images of childhood, drama, and prophecy. The skeptic Darley, who would have tried to find a rational explanation for the fact that Clea has fallen out of love, feels compelled "to present it as something else — preposterous as it may sound — as a visitation of an agency, a power initiated in some uncommon region beyond the scope of the ordinary imagination" (C_, 836). The drama may be called cosmic or subconscious, but Durrell is certainly successful in concretizing the unknown factor in human desire and those impulses and emotions which masquerade as desire; so that love itself in its different forms becomes almost an allegorical personage, or a modern "Passionification." Darley returns to Alexandria thinking of the city as "something which I myself had deflowered ..." (C, 701). The city has been a lover whose lost innocence has given him the ability to comprehend the physical-metaphysical duality of desire, to descend to the sub-soul and feel the arbitrary and accidental nature of the Love which he described as an absolute in Justine. When Darley realizes 8.2 that Amaril was a "playing card" which he hadn't turned over, he uses the word "love" only "to signify my recognition of the thing's autonomous nature" (C_, 855), what Lewis calls "an accident occurring in a substance." The memory novel has truly turned into a drama, a temps deiivre^ instead of a temps re'trouve. Improvisation succeeds calculation. Dialogue succeeds reflection and analysis. Clea describes Liza as looking like "some strange Greek statue come to life" (C_, 743) and proceeds in her next speech to quote Pursewarden: "Heed me, reader, for the artist is you, all of us — the statue which must disengage itself from the dull block of marble which houses it, and start to live" (C, 744). His message to Liza, about starting to live, is the same one which Nessim gives to Justine. But Pursewarden's desire is to free Liza to love another and find an individual identity, while Nessim wishes to bind Justine to him as a fellow conspirator. Clea is an extremely Platonic book in its imagery; as explicit in points as the description:of Liza's eyes as she cradles Pursewarden's death mask; so large that "they overflowed the whole face, and turned it into a cave of interrogation" (C_, 741). As Lewis says, Aristotle was the philosopher of divisions, who set a wedge between heaven and 64 hell, reason and passion. It seems that Durrell has shown the height of this philosophic division in Mountolive, and in Clea he not only returns to an emotional child-like acceptance, but also to an earlier philosophic and literary world. Again, as in "Solange," there is a nostalgia for a time when emotions were not filtered through the head-consciousness, and passion did not blind the reasoning powers. The river of sex described so dramatically in Mountolive — "the broad 83 underground river flowing from Petronius to Frank Harris" — (M, 625) has its source in the Roman age and not the Greek. In all those centuries since the Hellenic hiatus, courtly love alone raised the concept of love in literary debate high above the exclusively sexual, and Clea contains many images of this courtliness. Perhaps the most startling is Pombal's acceptance of the attitude of Fosca's husband, whose "notions of honour . . . would do credit to a troubadour" (C_, 683) . In this tragi-comic version of courtly love, it is the woman who dies and whose death provides the most explicit description of death in The Quartet. The conjecture about what it must feel like to die is relayed in terms which form the opposite pole to Pursewarden's description of love as the truest form of "right attention." There is also the suggestion that death is a kindly wound, whose pain soon passes when the victim is transported into an alternate dream-world. The scene is composed carefully in the dominant imagery of Clea — painting and the theatre. The eyes of the spectators are "drawn, as if by the lines-of-force of some great marine painting" (C_, 816) to the scene of the tragedy and Darley reflects "how ironically it had been planned by the invisible stage-masters who direct human actions." He thinks that Fosca "must have felt, perhaps, simply a vague and unusual dispersion of her attention, the swift anaesthesia of shock which follows so swiftly upon the wound" (C, 817). She lies, "smiling to herself in the other kind of dream" (C_, 818) . The other characters find that this incident has exemplified something so far beyond the merely personal level that they feel cut off from one another; unable to express the normal feelings of sympathy. Pombal talks to Darley after the event "as one might talk 84 to an imaginary friend while under anaesthetic" (C_, 825) . The suggestion of an alternate world whose sensations and reactions are mythic or dream-like, occult, or somnambulistic, is ever-present. The process of depersonalization separates the characters from each other so that they may take possession of themselves at the greatest moments of crisis. Thematically, the erotic-metaphysical dialectic and its linkage to death, myth, and dream forms the central concern of The Quartet. The City becomes more of a personified author than anything else in Clea and the largest isolated set description of landscape evokes the ancient melancholy of pastoral Egypt instead of the concrete venality and merchandised sexuality of the city. In order to prepare for the rebirth parable, to rejuvenate love itself, Durrell must make use of the sun and moon, the Adam of medieval legend, and the spectre of pastoral Egyptian life. The awareness of inner drama and destiny is stretched out to join the external world and abolish the control of contingency and necessity. Darley finds that only the Greek poems can express the happiness and renewed life of the last summer in Alexandria: "I am hunting for metaphors which might convey something of the piercing happiness too seldom granted to those who love; but words, which were first invented against despair, are too crude to mirror the properties of something so profoundly at peace with itself, at one with itself . . . . Unless perhaps it were simpler to repeat under one1s breath some lines torn from a Greek poem, written once in the shadow of a sail, on a thirsty promontory in Byzantium" (C_, 827) . And again, in describing the restoration of Clea before her accident: "'natural as a city's grey-eyed Muse' — to quote the Greek poem" (C_, 846) . Darley reflects 85 that everything which had happened was pre-ordained and merely "'coming to pass1"; that the "scenario had already been devised somewhere, the actors chosen, the timing rehearsed down to the last detail in the mind of that invisible author — which perhaps would prove to be only the city itself: the Alexandria of the human estate. The seeds of future events, are carried within ourselves. They are implicit in us and unfold according to the laws of their own nature" (C, 828). The germinal metaphor points to the imagery of fecundation and the companion possibility of rebirth. Alexandria must pass away with the God, as in Cavafy's poem ("The God Abandons Antony") in order that the characters may be free to find a life completely separated from the destructive demands of the city of bondsmen to sensuality and uncertain analysis. The entire epiphanic feeling of Clea is framed in images of defloration and childbirth, while the uncertain adolescence is left behind. The polymorphous eroticism of Alexandria is succeeded by a series of romantic unions between major characters: Liza and Mountolive, Amaril and Semira, Darley and Clea, and Pursewarden and his dream-Muse. The romantic love represented by Amaril and Semira is described by Darley in terms of the city — a "city now trying softly to spread the sticky prismatic wings of a new-born dragon-fly on the night" (C_, 723) . Darley announces that a whole new geography of Alexandria was born through Clea, "a new biography to replace the old one" (C_, 832) , simply because of the novel quality of his love for her. The fresh dispensation is a highly physical one nevertheless, teeming with images of "animal contents" (C_, 832) , which words cannot explain. The conflict between time and the self has been resolved; the new self-knowledge or 86 gnosis is based on an acceptance of biological rhythms and the continuum of nature even when things are constantly passing away. Death is called a "pedigree" (C_, 833) for kisses because the dead have an unused portion of their biological rhythms and particular gestures which recur in living beings. Perhaps the dictum that emerges most clearly in the parable of Clea is that acceptance of death and self-abnegation are absolutely necessary for life; that even our bodies and gestures do not fully belong to us. This is why Clea can create afresh with a mechanical hand, and even receive the artistic reward of a breakthrough in style. She has shared a part of herself with the dead and become the true muse of Alexandria. Her art is no longer a way to protect herself from life; so she can truly enter the heraldic present and join in the immediacy of perception and sensation. The awakening from the dream world into immediacy and self-possession requires a great shock of the kind which Pursewarden and Clea receive. In Clea the hazy illusionary quality of perception is gradually supplanted by the heraldic view of a world like a playing card; a vivid one-dimensional image. This flatness (or "time spread out flat") is intensified until the action is freed in the manner in which a swimmer at last breaks the surface. When Darley reaches the boat, dragging Clea's body, he has seen the last of the historical underwater world of the drowned sailors. The death and decay, the brutality of natural process which would have frightened the Darley of Justine can now be almost laughed at, as witnessed in the letter he writes to Clea from his island: This barley is laid upon the flat roofs for threshing out the chaff which they do with sticks. Barley! hardly is the word spoken before the ant-processions begin, long chains of dark ants trying to carry it away to their private 87 storehouses. This in turn has alerted the yellow lizards; they prowl about eating the ants, lying in ambush winking their eyes. And, as if following out the octave of causality in nature, here come the cats to hunt and eat the lizards. This is not good for them, and many die of a wasting disease attributed to this folly. But I suppose the thrill of the chase is on them. And then? Well, now and then a viper kills a cat stone dead. And the man with his spade breaks the snake's back. And the man? Autumn fevers come on with the first rain. The old men tumble into the grave like fruit off a tree. Finita la guerra! (C, 871) Darley's battle against the conditions of life has ended. Alexandria as a state of mind has left him; the city has been exorcised by his feeling of self-possession. The war is over without a struggle, leaving Darley ready to freely and lovingly share a story with his listeners and write "Once upon a time . . .," the least subjective of story beginnings. He is free to love with a tenderness and immediacy unaffected by images and memories which cloud perception. Cavafy describes the Alexandrian illness from which Darley has recovered: I'll stand here. And I'll make myself believe that I really see all this (I actually did see it for a minute when I first stopped) and not my usual day-dreams here too, memories, my images of sensuality.68 The reign of memory and the image is over, the conflict between time and the self has been resolved. Both Darley and Lawrence Durrell have discovered an equilibrium, a balance between mysticism and intellectu-alism. Finita la guerra. 88 CONCLUSION Critics have argued that the rebirth or regeneration which the characters experience in Clea is vague and artificial, a forced ending and a weakness on the part of the author. But it must be remembered that The Alexandria Quartet is a novel of great length (the books are "siblings" and not sequels, as Durrell states in the preface to the 1962 edition), which contains features more appropriate to poetry. Prophetic intuitions, fleeting moments of heightened perception and sensation and random bits of philosophy constantly invade the narrative structure. The mysteries involved in the relativity and multiplicity of perception and the psychological mechanics of thought and desire, dream and premonition, replace what the ancient world would have called metaphysics. The extent of real knowledge about perception and psychological mechanism is limited, and the terminology used to describe these obscure unconscious worlds is even more restricted. For this reason, Durrell cannot describe, a complete alteration in his characters' method of evaluating experience in any other than a symbolic form. In addition, the ending of The Quartet must avoid portraying a change in "personality," that artificial construct which the lovers must cling to in order to identify themselves. Love which builds a fixed set of attributes around the beloved image faces sure destruction at the hands of the natural interchange between time and the self. The rescue of Clea must be a self-possessed as well as an unself-conscior.s response to the event, an immediate entry into unified perception, desire and action. 89 Finally, it is Durrell's embellished truisms and playful bits of ironic philosophy which sustain a reader and encourage him to speculate on the philosophy of love itself. In an age which has lost the fear of the supernatural and unknown and the ability to appreciate the mystery behind the rational explanation of phenomena, Durrell does come closer than his contemporaries to Chaucer in his spirit of intellectual play and his ability to leave the reader free to interpret the parable in The Quartet. FOOTNOTES Lawrence Durrell, "Lawrence Durrell Answers a Few Questions," The World of Lawrence Durrell, ed. Harry T. Moore (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1962), p. 157. 2 Lawrence Durrell, The Alexandria Quartet (London: Faber and Faber, 1962), p. 556. The Alexandria Quartet was first published by Faber and Faber, London, and E. P. Dutton, New York, in four volumes: Justine (1957), Balthazar (1958), Mountolive (London, 1958; New York, 1959) and Clea (1960). The one-volume edition was first published in London by Faber and Faber in 1962. All subsequent references to The  Quartet in this paper will be followed by J_, B_. M, or C_ to indicate the novel .and by the page number from the 1962 edition in parentheses. C. G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a_ Soul, .trans. W. S. Dell and Cary F. Baynes (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1933), p. 203. 4 Otto Rank, The Myth of the Birth of the Hero and Other Writings (New York: Vintage-Knopf, 1959), p. 208. 5 Lawrence Durrell, The Black Book (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1963), p. 167. ^ C. P. Cavafy, Cj_ P^ Cavafy: Selected Poems, trans. Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972), p. 3. 7 Durrell, The Black Book, p. 151. p Lawrence Durrell, Spirit of Place: Letters and Essays on Travel, ed. Alan G. Thomas, new ed. (London: Faber and Faber, 1971), p. 404. 9 Durrell, Spirit of Place, pp. 406-407. 10 Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, p. 207. 11 Durrell, The Black Book, p. 199. 12 Durrell, The Black Book, p. 201. - 90 -91 1 3 Lawrence Durrell, "Introduction," The Book of the It, Georg Groddeck, trans. V. M. E. Collins (New York: Vintage, 1949), p. vi. 14 Durrell, "Introduction," The Book of the It, p. xix. Durrell, "Introduction," The Book of the It, p. xxii. G. S. Fraser, Lawrence Durrell: A Study, rev. ed. (London: Faber and Faber, 1973), p. 101. Lawrence Durrell, Collected Poems (London: Faber and Faber, I960) , p ». 246. 18 Durrell, Collected Poems, P- 247. 19 Durrell, Collected Poems, P- 258. 20 Durrell, Collected Poems, P- 258. 21 Durrell, Collected Poems, P- 258. 22 Durrell, Collected Poems, P- 259. 23 Durrell, "The Kneller Tape," The World of Lawrence Durrell, p. 168. 24 Denis de Rougemont, Love in the Western World, trans. Montgomery Belgion, 2nd. ed. (New York: Pantheon, 1956), p. 87. 25 E. M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1927), p. 39. 26 Rank, Myth of the Birth of the Hero, p. 132. 27 Durrell, "Lawrence Durrell Answers a Few Questions," The World  of Lawrence Durrell, p. 157. 2 8 Lawrence Durrell, The Big Supposer: A Dialogue with Marc Alyn, trans. Francine Barker (London: Abelard-Schumann, 1973), pp. 45-46. 29 Lawrence Durrell, Lawrence Durrell and Henry Miller: A Private  Correspondence, ed. George Wickes (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1963), p. 225. R. M. Grant, Gnosticism and Early Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press, 1959) , p. 9. 31 Lawrence Durrell, Nunquam (London: Faber and Faber, 1970) ,. p. 54. Durrell, "Letters from Lawrence Durrell," The World of Lawrence  Durrell, p. 230. 92 33 Durrell, Collected Poems, p. 196. 34 Lawrence Durrell, Tunc (London: Faber and Faber, 1968), p. 90. 35 Durrell, Tunc, p. 53. 3^ John Paul Russo, "Love in Lawrence Durrell," Prairie Schooner, 43, (1969), p. 400. 37 Jung, Modern Man in Search of a_ Soul, pp. 206-207. 38 Rank, The Myth of the Birth of the Hero, p. 146. 39 Lionel Trilling, "The Quartet: Two Reviews," World of Lawrence  Durrell, p. 58. 40 Joyce Cary, Art and Reality: Ways of the Creative Process (New York: Doubleday-Anchor, 1961), p. 174. 41 Cary, p. 178. 42 Durrell, Lawrence Durrell and Henry Miller, p. 201. 43 Frederick R. Karl, "Lawrence Durrell: Physical and Metaphysical Love," The Con temporary English Novel (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1962), p. 42. 44 Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point (New York: The Modern Library, 1928), p. 350. 4^ Aldous Huxley, "Fashions in Love," Do What You Will (London: Chatto and Windus, 1956), p. 131. 4^ Aldous Huxley, Letters of Aldous Huxley, ed. Grover Smith (New York and Evanston: Harper and Row, 1969), p. 829. 4 7 Huxley, Letters, p. 831. 4 8 Wyndham Lewis, Time and Western Man (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1928), pp. 15-16. 49 Eugene Lyons and Harry Antrim, "An Interview with Lawrence Durrell," Shenandoah, 22, No. 2 (1971), pp. 48-49. Anais Nin, The Diary of Anais Nin, ed. Gunther Stuhlmann, II (New York: Swallow Press and Brace, Harcourt & World, 1967) , p. 231. 51 Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur (New York: Viking Press, 1975), p. 161. ^2 John Arthos, "Lawrence Durrell's Gnosticism," The Personalist, 43, (1962), p. 372. 93 Alan Warren Friedman, The Alexandria Quartet: Art for Love's  Sake (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1970), p. 140. 54 Groddeck, The Book of the It, p. 230. 55 Durrell, "Introduction," The Book of the It, p. xi. 56 Durrell, The Black Book, p. 196. 57 Friedman, p. 142. 58 Durrell, Lawrence Durrell and Henry Miller, p. 362. 59 Durrell, Collected Poems, p. 207. ^° de Rougemont, Love in the Western World, p. 37. 61 Robert Scholes, The Fabulators (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 23. 62 Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957), p. 193. ^ Groddeck, p. 202. 64 Groddeck, p. 76. 65 Marcel Proust, Swann's Way, trans. C. K. Scott Moncrieff, 1922; rpt., 2 vols. (London: Chatto and Windus, 1966), I, pp. 224-225. 66 C. S. Lewis, The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition (London: Oxford University Press, 1938), p. 65. f- —j Lewis, p. 61. 68 C. P. Cavafy, C. P. Cavafy: Selected Poems, p. 29. BIBLIOGRAPHY Arcy d', M. C., S. J. The Mind and Heart of Love: Lion and Unicorn. A Study in Eros and Agape. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1947. Arthos, John. "Lawrence Durrell's Gnosticism." The Personalist, 43 (1962), 360-373. Beyle, Henri. On Love, trans. Philip Sidney Woolf and Cecil N. Sidney Woolf. London: Duckworth & Co., 1915. Brown, Norman 0. Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of  History. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1959. Cartwright, Michael Percy. "The Alexandria Quartet: A Comedy for the Twentieth Century or Lawrence Durrell, The Pardoner, and His Miraculous Pig's Knuckle." Dissertation Abstracts International, 31 (1970), 5391A (University of Nebraska). Cary, Joyce. Art and Reality: Ways of the Creative Process. New York Doubleday-Anchor, 1961. Cavafy, C. P. The Complete Poems of C. P. Cavafy, trans. Rae Dalven. London: Chatto & Windus, 1961. . C^ P^ Cavafy: Selected Poems, trans. Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972. Durrell, Lawrence. The Alexandria Quartet. London: Faber and Faber, 1962. , and Marc Alyn. The Big Supposer: A dialogue with Marc". Alyn, trans. Francine Barker. London: Abelard-Schumann, 1973. The Black Book. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1963. Collected Poems. London: Faber and Faber, 1960. "Introduction." The Book of the It by Georg Groddeck, trans. V. M. E. Collins. New York: Vintage, 1949. 95 . "The Kneller Tape." The World of Lawrence Durrell, ed. Harry T. Moore. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1962. . "Lawrence Durrell Answers a Few Questions." The World of Lawrence Durrell, ed. Harry T. Moore. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1962. , and Henry Miller. Lawrence Durrell and Henry Miller: A Private Correspondence, ed. George Wickes. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1963. "Letters from Lawrence Durrell." The World of Lawrence  Durrell, ed. Harry T. Moore. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1962. Monsieur. New York: Viking Press, 1975. Nunguam. London: Faber and Faber, 1970. . Spirit of Place: Letters and Essays on Travel, ed. Alan G. Thomas. New ed. London: Faber and Faber, 1971. Tunc. London: Faber and Faber, 1968. Forster, E. M. Alexandria: A History and Guide. Rev. ed. Gloucester: Peter Smith, 1968. . Aspects of the Novel. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1927. Fraser, G. S. Lawrence Durrell: A Study. Rev. ed. London: Faber and Faber, 1973. Friedman, Alan Warren. The Alexandria Quartet: Art for Love's Sake. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1970. Frye, Northrop. Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957. Gordon, Ambrose Jr. "Time, Space and Eros: The Alexandria Quartet Rehearsed." Six Contemporary Novels. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1962. Gossman, Ann. "Love's Alchemy in The Alexandria Quartet." Critique, 13, No. 2 (1971), 83-96. Grant, R. M. Gnosticism and Early Christianity. New York: Columbia University Press, 1959. Groddeck, Georg. The Book of the It, trans. V. M. E. Collins. New York: Vintage, 1949. 96 Huxley, Aldous. "Fashions in Love." Do What You Will. London: Chatto & Windus, 1956. . Letters of Aldous Huxley, ed. Grover Smith. New York and Evanston: Harper and Row, 1969. Point Counter Point. New York: The Modern Library, 1928. Jung, C. G. Modern Man in Search of a Soul, trans. W. S. Dell and Cary F. Baynes. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1933. Karl, Frederick R. "Lawrence Durrell: Physical and Metaphysical Love." The Contemporary English Novel. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1962. Katope, Christopher G. "Cavafy and Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet." Comparative Literature, 21 (Spring 1969), 125-37. Lewis, C. S. The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition. London: Oxford University Press, 1938. Lewis, Wyndham. Time and Western Man. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1928. Lyons, Eugene, and Harry Antrim. "An Interview with Lawrence Durrell." Shenandoah, 22, No. 2 (1971), 42-58. Nin, Anais. The Diary of Anais Nin,ed. Gunther Stuhlmann, II. New York: Swallow Press and Brace, Harcourt and World, 1967. Perles, Alfred. My Friend Lawrence Durrell. Northwood: Scorpion Press, 1961. Proust, Marcel. Swann's Way, trans. C. K. Moncrieff. 2 vols., 1922; rpt. London: Chatto & Windus, 1966. Rank, Otto. The Myth of the Birth of the Hero and Other Writings. New York: Vintage-Knopf, 1959. Rougemont, Denis de. Love in the Western World, trans. Montgomery Belgion. 2nd. ed. New York: Pantheon, 1956. . Love Declared: Essays on the Myths of Love, trans. Richard Howard. Boston: Beacon Press, 1963. Russo, John Paul. "Love in Lawrence Durrell." Prairie Schooner, 43 (1969), 396-407. Saurat, Denis. Literature and Occult Tradition: Studies in Philosophical  Poetry, trans. Dorothy Bolton. London: G. Bell & Sons, 1930. 97 Scholes, Robert. The Fabulators. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967. Taylor, Chet. "Dissonance and Digression: The Ill-Fitting Fusion of Philosophy and Form in Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet." Modern Fiction Studies, 17 (1971), 167-79. Trilling, Lionel. "The Quartet: Two Reviews." The World of Lawrence  Durrell, ed. Harry T. Moore. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1962. Unterecker, John. Lawrence Durrell. Columbia Essays on Modern Writers, No. 6. New York: Columbia University Press, 1964. 

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