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

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THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET: LOVE AS METAPHYSICAL ENQUIRY  by  ELIZABETH LEE JOHNSTON 3.A., S i r George Williams University, 1974  THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n 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 p r e s e n t i n g t h i s  thesis  in p a r t i a l  f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r  an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, the L i b r a r y s h a l l I  f u r t h e r agree  for  freely available  that permission  for  reference and  f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f  this  that  study. thesis  s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or  by h i s of  make it  I agree  representatives.  this  thesis  It  is understood that  f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l  written permission.  Department o f  <f-K  gj 1 > < U  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h  Columbia  2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V.6T 1W5  Date  cTcx.,x  t l  ^  1%  n1  1  copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n  not be allowed without my  ABSTRACT  This thesis i s based on a conviction that Lawrence Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet i s a metaphysical romance i n a t r u l y 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 I l l u s i o n s of love, and the i n t e l l e c t u a l examination which may destroy the i l l u s i o n , but leaves nothing i n i t s 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 i n t e l l e c t . The f i r s t chapter describes the psychological equilibrium which D u r r e l l c a l l s "the heraldic universe," which i s 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 f i n a l paragraphs deal with the dual approach to character and the corresponding p o l a r i t i e s 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 r e l a t i o n of the Quartet to moral allegory as  - i -  )  well as i t s concern with the dualism of i n s t i n c t and i d e a l , reason and passion, which Aldous Huxley and Wyndham Lewis describe i n a more expository s t y l e . The t h i r d chapter contrasts the destructive will-to-power and the passion of p o l i t i c a l conspirators with the creative w i l l of the poet and a r t i s t , the seeker a f t e r s e l f - i d e n t i t y .  The f i n a l paragraphs deal with  images of madness and psychic disintegration resulting from obsessional love. The fourth chapter discusses the major characters i n r e l a t i o n to the l i f e of t h e i r imaginations.  In the case of the writers i n the Quartet,  the l i t e r a r y imagination d i s t o r t s perceptions of love and experience. Pursewarden, the central a r t i s t i c figure, i s viewed i n r e l a t i o n to the other prototypes who make a "story" out of t h e i r l i v e s . The f i n a l chapter attempts to show that Clea i s a culmination of a psychological b a t t l e within the characters, an active drama instead of a r e f l e c t i o n 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  4  CHAPTER  I.  DURRELL'S PHILOSOPHY AND THE HERALDIC  I I . PERSONALITY CREATION:  THE NOVEL AS  THERAPEUTIC INQUIRY  CHAPTER I I I .  DESTRUCTIVE LOVE A. B.  CHAPTER  IV.  V.  P a s s i o n and The W i l l Madness and The Image  37 44  CHARACTERS A. B.  CHAPTER  16  C. D.  Darley Pursewarden — and R e l a t i o n t o Other Characters Melissa C l e a and B a l t h a z a r  56 67 70  E.  V a r i a t i o n s on t h e Holy Man  73  THE BATTLE OF CLEA  50  76  FOOTNOTES  90  BIBLIOGRAPHY  94  - iii  -  Philosophical poetry plays a very special part between philosophy and religion, and science. I t may now be said that what was once c a l l e d "philosophy" no longer e x i s t s . The name has remained as a general label covering various kinds of researches such as sociology, psychology, l o g i c , etc. Nothing corresponds any longer to what, s c i e n t i f i c a l l y speaking, formed the connecting l i n k — metaphysics . . . . Metaphysics carried into the s c i e n t i f i c realm conceptions which r e a l l y belong to the domain of the w i l l . These metaphysical ideas cannot claim to have a place i n science, but i s that a reason for refusing to consider them? They belong to another order of truth: a r t i s t i c truth. —  Denis Saurat from Literature and Occult Tradition: Studies i n Philosophical Poetry  I had the i l l u s i o n that when one loves, just as when we create human children, we create a permanent image of love l i k e an iron statue by a sculptor. I was h o r r i f i e d to discover that the image the other person carried within him bore no resemblance to one's own, or that i t could be annihilated by another love, or by a misunderstanding, or a d i s t o r t i o n , or a f a i l u r e of memory. This gave me a foretaste of death. We were not enshrined i n the other's heart, and the one we loved was often immured, alone, separate from us. The war destroyed our i l l u s i o n 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 A l e x a n d r i a Q u a r t e t l o v e as a form o f " m e t a p h y s i c a l enquiry"""" means a s e a r c h f o r self-knowledge w i t h i n a p s y c h o l o g i c a l e q u i l i b r i u m which i s n o t d i s p l a c e d by e i t h e r t h e c h a r a c t e r s ' u n a v o i d a b l y  relative  p e r c e p t i o n o r by t h e f i x i t y o f t h e a b s o l u t e s they choose t o worship (Love, A r t , Power). humorist,  The p h i l o s o p h i c D u r r e l l , v i s i b l e behind t h e i r o n i c  asks h i m s e l f and t h e r e a d e r o f The A l e x a n d r i a Q u a r t e t :  Is  t h e r e a b a l a n c e t o be found between t h e s u b j e c t i v e i l l u s i o n s o f t h e romantic i m a g i n a t i o n and t h e o b j e c t i v e c y n i c i s m o f i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e d love?  In the a r t i s t i c  sphere t h e q u e s t i o n t r a n s l a t e s :  Is there a  l i t e r a r y e q u i l i b r i u m between t h e l y r i c m y s t i c i s m o f D. H. Lawrence's treatment o f t h e l o v e theme and t h e p r e s c r i p t i v e essayism o f Aldous Huxley  and Wyndham  Lewis?  The l o v e theme i s n o t a romantic d e c o r a t i o n superimposed theme o f t h e m a t u r a t i o n o f an a r t i s t .  upon t h e  Durrell's idea o f the "heraldic  u n i v e r s e " demands a b r u t a l l y honest p r e s e r v a t i o n o f naked e x p e r i e n c e . H e r a l d i c v i s i o n n e c e s s i t a t e s an exposure  o f emotional f r a i l t y ,  stripped  o f t h e p r o t e c t i o n a f f o r d e d by a r t and t h e t e m p t a t i o n t o compromise which c o n s t i t u t e s accepted m o r a l i t y .  The poems o f C. P. Cavafy a r e p e r f e c t  examples o f t h i s s t a r k b u t l o v i n g e m o t i o n a l honesty.  Preservation o f  n o n - r a t i o n a l i z e d emotion c r e a t e s t h e t r u l y l o v i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p between i n d i v i d u a l s , o r between an i n d i v i d u a l and h i s s u r r o u n d i n g .  -  1 -  2  In  the  romantic  autonomous; by  them.  destiny as  that  they  fostered  she  of  visited  upon  something  What  "every  spectacle  sort  by  of  "knows"  create  do the  are  romantic  conspiracy" Nessim,  The the the  a  illusions  love  is  rather  than  created  power  of  of The  commentary  the  Quartet  characters  imagination.  is  "while  Alexandria  upon  unity  and  shared  definition  of  Justine's  riches  and  love  declaration  intrigue  stirred  2 within  her  now,  "deputies" Darley  allows  realizes  romantic  perception an  deputies  Justine  that  his  imagination,  perpetually  like  the  becomes  embrace  writes")  (C_,  .  analytical,  i n  distort  the  love-object  problem  of of  mental  world.  the  summarized wish  to  Rabelais  which  by  In  de  Accompanied  by  religious  and  the  image  Sade.  a l l  in  from the  ecstasy  love  sphere  his  flesh  with a  to  a  Europe, from  and  duodenal  the  food  of  man  Clea,  this  as  "a  as  fiction.  uniquely  the  is  which  which  (C^,  (sweetI)  757).  us.  —  is  not  or this a  introverted  Ass":  mock  shaped  which  is  ironically  "But  i f  spans,  belly-consciousness  i l l s  of  Durrell  complaint  Europe  sweet  poet  modern  sadistically  Brother  same  displace  For  these  Pursewarden  perception not  of when  of  Relativity  does  to  ulcer!"  of  embrace'  Durrell's to  In  "('Perception  the  form  in  possession  product  694) .  becomes  "Notes  inter-changing to  (C,  impossible  A progress  a  concentration  of  turn  was  definition  is  perception  the  i t s e l f .  poet-man:  enters  an  literary  Pursewarden  enlarge to  the  the  lover's into  the  vision  rationalization  head-consciousness,  from  the  imagination  vision  poison  Heraldic  passion  himself"  of  Only  Justine  suggests  enemy  —' the  694)  of  against  the  passion."  glimpse  image  he  conspiring  to  of  to  you say, the  reason. A  progress  3  Jung life  (Modern Man  i n Search o f a. Soul)  always found e x p r e s s i o n i n a m e t a p h y s i c a l  But the c o n s c i o u s , modern man, to  f e l t t h a t i n the p a s t " p s y c h i c system o f some s o r t .  d e s p i t e h i s strenuous  and dogged e f f o r t s  do so, can no l o n g e r r e f r a i n from acknowledging the might o f p s y c h i c 3  forces."  Darley sees B a l t h a z a r as one o f the keys to the c i t y  Alexandria  (J_, 78).  through  B a l t h a z a r ' s attempt t o escape h i s i n v e r t e d s e x u a l i t y  the Cabal f a i l s m i s e r a b l y because he i s t r y i n g to deny the  interdependence p o i s o n my  o f mind and body —  i n t e l l e c t and my  i n h i s own  words, " l e t t i n g my  i n t e l l e c t u a l r e s e r v a t i o n s my  "powers o f darkness"  (J_, 144) .  f o r c e s must be a c c e p t e d and abstract truth.  love  l o v e " (OJ, 706) .  Narouz' p r e a c h i n g l e a d s t o a l o s s o f h u m i l i t y , an involvement  for  of  with  the  i n l i f e o r a r t , i n s t i n c t s and p s y c h i c  l i v e d out, n o t c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n a s e a r c h  Pursewarden, a d d r e s s i n g D a r l e y i n the  "Notes,"  endorses the t e c h n i c a l mastery o f the a r t o f w r i t i n g , b u t emphasizes t h a t "a g r e a t w r i t e r i s the s e r v a n t o f compulsions which are by the v e r y s t r u c t u r e o f the psyche and  ordained  cannot be d i s r e g a r d e d "  (Cj, 758) .  These compulsions must be not merely f a c e d , but c o n f r o n t e d , i f D u r r e l l ' s prototype analysis.  c h a r a c t e r s are to d e f e a t t h e i r own  s e r v i t u d e to o b s e s s i o n  and  CHAPTER I DURRELL'S PHILOSOPHY AND THE HERALDIC  In t h e i n d i v i d u a l i s t a r t o f the modern Romantic, l o v e becomes a s e l f - r e f l e c t i n g m i r r o r f o r t h e l o v e r , who, i n the p r o c e s s  of observing  h i s own c o n f l i c t s and i l l u s i o n s p e r s o n i f i e s t h e aim o f t h i s type o f artist: by i t . "  "not t o express h i m s e l f i n h i s work, b u t t o g e t t o know h i m s e l f 4  Rank sees the a r t i s t ' s use o f p s y c h o a n a l y t i c t h e o r i e s as a  l a s t attempt t o f i n d an a r t i s t i c i d e o l o g y o t h e r than s e l f - c o n f e s s i o n . T h i s new a r t i s t i c p e r s o n a l i t y w i l l be f r e e t o f i n d a new form i n which t o c r e a t e and c a s t a s i d e t r a d i t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e s . s e v e r a l v a r i a t i o n s o f Rank's p r o t o t y p e  D u r r e l l c o n j u r e s up  a r t i s t f o r The Q u a r t e t .  d e p i c t s A r n a u t i , who depends on p s y c h o a n a l y s i s  He  and c o n f e s s i o n , and  Pursewarden, who paraphrases Rank w i t h  "The o b j e c t o f w r i t i n g i s t o grow  a p e r s o n a l i t y which i n t h e end enables  man t o t r a n s c e n d  d e s c r i b e s Pursewarden's strange  art."  Balthazar  i d e a s about the make-up o f the psyche  w i t h the example, "I r e g a r d i t as completely  u n s u b s t a n t i a l as a rainbow  —  i t o n l y coheres i n t o i d e n t i f i a b l e s t a t e s and a t t r i b u t e s when a t t e n t i o n is  focused on i t .  Thus 'people'  The t r u e s t form o f r i g h t a t t e n t i o n i s o f course  a r e as much o f an i l l u s i o n  t o the m y s t i c  as 'matter' t o  the p h y s i c i s t when he i s r e g a r d i n g i t as a form o f energy" The  love.  (B_, 306) .  l a s t sentence i n t h i s q u o t a t i o n suggests a problem common t o m y s t i c ,  s c i e n t i s t , w r i t e r and l o v e r :  o n l y c o n c e n t r a t i o n on s m a l l  - 4 -  identifiable  5  units of energy allows him to see "people" or "matter."  I f the area  of attention i s enlarged the accepted human and material absolutes  disappear.  "Right attention" makes love the strongest absolute and the most e a s i l y destroyed by concentration and possession.  Darley personifies the  c o n f l i c t between perception and emotion when he writes books describing what Pursewarden c a l l s the "soul states of the human omelette"  (C, 751).  In The Black Book Lawrence L u c i f e r explains that by "heraldic" he means a "painted annihilation," a condition i n which the actions he and h i s fellows perform are part of a f i c t i o n i n which t h e i r "selves" are simply the "projections of an idea."^  The poet's world should be a  v i t a l archetypal! image instead of a "painted a n n i h i l a t i o n . "  The d i s p a r i t y  between the p o s i t i v e and negative modes of perception i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the contrasting views of the folklore lovers Yuna and Aziz. In Balthazar, the reader f i r s t meets them as part of Narouz' experience at the f e s t i v a l of Sitna Miriam.  They inhabit a c a r n i v a l booth as sugar  figurines b r i l l i a n t with t i n s e l "  (B_, 313) .  But i n the "Notes to Brother  Ass" the reader sees Pursewarden's d i r e c t experience of their story (as t o l d by Justine) and t h e i r transmutation dream.  into A r t i s t and Muse i n Pursewarden's  In The Alexandria Quartet love and a r t share a mutually  relationship.  parasitic  Love may not nourish the man or woman i n Durrell's characters,  but i t does feed t h e i r art; while a r t cannot be perfected without the pain of love. The a r t i s t s and s o l i t a r i e s —  Pursewarden, Clea, and Darley  desire immediacy of s e l f - r e v e l a t i o n and are g r a t e f u l when d i r e c t  — experience  of emotional pain allows them to see outside the r e l a t i v e world and into the heraldic realm of v i t a l archetypal images.  The a r t i s t  prototypes  6  r e s i s t the bondage to history, ideas and external forces which plague Nessim and Mountolive. a r t i s t prototypes, who  D u r r e l l contrasts the l a t t e r figures with the w i l l not condemn themselves to lovelessness  self-destruction for the sake of power or i d e a l s .  and  Durrell's a r t i s t i c  s o l i t a r i e s search for a tenderness which i s not based on narcissism, l u s t , or delusive passion.  The t h e o r e t i c a l framework for the prototype  a r t i s t s and lovers i s furnished by Durrell's free interpretation of Freud, Rank, Jung, Groddeck, and de Rougemont —  o r i g i n a l thinkers  who  i n s i s t e d on breaking the b a r r i e r s of the o l d ideas about mental and sexual l i f e .  There are several tributes to D. H. Lawrence i n The Quartet,  and many to C. P. Cavafy.  The former fought a l l his l i f e  against  "rationalized morality," and the l a t t e r r e a l i z e d that the pure act of acceptance or resignation ("Che  Fece . . .  II Gran R i f i u t o " ["The  Great  Yea or Nay"]) determines freedom or servitude within the range of 6 experience. The Black Book i l l u s t r a t e s many of Durrell's early personal concepts, including the heraldic v i s i o n , which offers an escape from questions truth and the soul as well as from determinacy and causality.  of  Clea  suggests that the "poetic symbolism . . . the shape of nature i t s e l f " was what Pursewarden was (fj, 744).  t r y i n g to convey to Darley i n the "Notes"  I believe that the heraldic balances the equation of  so that metaphysical or moral probing becomes unnecessary. says i n the "Notes":  life,  Pursewarden  "Whoever makes this enigmatic leap into the  heraldic r e a l i t y of the poetic l i f e discovers that truth has i t s own b u i l t - i n morality!" the idea i t s e l f .  (OJ, 772).  But his explanations  are as enigmatic as  Durrell's meaning i s c l a r i f i e d i f heraldic i s added to  7  the word something i n the following quotation: The whole question, i n essence, i s acceptance, the depersonalization of s e l f , of the society which one has absorbed. I t i s not only a question of a r t , but a question of l i f e . You are altered, affected, transmuted by this orientation. Whatever was your antecedent, your h i s t o r y , that no longer matters to me. I can no longer whimper when your head goes down l i k e a hammer on the white pillow. The strange accidents of bone, the syntax of muscle and c a r t i l a g e , e x i s t i n a r e l a t i o n to something that i s 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" w i l l belong to h i s inner strength; not destroyed by writing, but a part of l i f e . Like Lawrence Lucifer, Lawrence Durrell wishes to show a l l the p i t f a l l s of  reason and passion i n a l i t e r a r y work, yet leave the completion of  love and self-possession enigmatically vague —  part of l i f e , not a r t .  "Solange," a work composed of blank verse and prose, was written i n 7  1938 and "lengthened" and "retouched" for publication i n 1967. "Solange" emphasizes the d i v i s i o n of mind and body, the triumph of r a t i o n a l love over the mystical which i s a major complaint i n The Alexandria Quartet: working with pink tongue or tooth towards some mystical emphasis, a l i f e without sanctions i n the forever, so long ago, so f a r away from a l l this contemporary whimperdom Solange sole angel of the seekers, their prop medal and recourse faces crisper than oak-leaves your b u r i a l service covered a l l the coward and the brave the p e r f e c t l y s o l i d fact as symbol of humanity's education less a woman with legs than something, say that oven into which Descartes locked himself i n order  8  to enunciate the f i r s t p r i n c i p l e of h i s system; the oven Planck consulted a f t e r a l l the spectroscope's t h r i l l i n g finery to deduce the notion of quanta, always the same oven, never any bread, the XXth century loaf i s an equation Solange be l i k e mirrors accumulating nothing. The Black Book and "Solange" quotations contain a common rejection of contemporary "whimperdom" — spontaneous sexuality —  the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of love and death or  as well as the fear and trembling of psyches  obsessed by t h e i r own movements.  A concise d e f i n i t i o n of heraldic  would echo the description of Solange: symbol."  "the perfectly s o l i d fact as  Solange represents the movements of the c o l l e c t i v e modern mind  toward philosophic and s c i e n t i f i c equations which ignore a balanced enjoyment of sexuality and produce only barren abstractions. In order to escape the poles of romantic sentimentality and r a t i o n a l cynicism, extra-causal forces and the "shadow-side" of life"'"'"  1  term) must be uncompromisingly accepted.  (Jung's  The sort of metaphysics Durrell  wants to avoid i s t y p i f i e d by Gregory i n The Black Book when he refers to metaphysics as "the l a s t refuge of the actor.""'""'"  Gregory sees himself 12  as "an actor on an empty stage, h i s only audience the c r i t i c a l  self."  The Hamlet prototype can never utter the affirming "Yea" of Cavafy; never e l e c t to be_ within the "whole bloody range!  1  to the obscene.  (C, 755) from the holy  R e l a t i v i t y of perception i s an i s o l a t i n g force, but  humanity and tenderness must not disintegrate beneath the weight of illusion.  In Justine that i s Darley's condition as well as Hamlet's.  The positive meaning of metaphysics for Durrell i s best defined by h i s remarks i n the preface to Groddeck's Book of the I t . He refers to  9  Groddeck as a "natural philosopher, as incapable of separating body and 13 mind as he i s 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 a r t i f i c i a l  morality i n h i s dealings with l i f e , and preferred to accord i t f u l l rights as an Unknown from which i t might be possible for the i n d i v i d u a l to extract an equation for ordinary living.""*"^  The acceptance of l i f e  as an Unknown i s a v i t a l part of Durrell's "theatre of the idea." Pursewarden, the i d e o l o g i c a l spokesman of The Quartet, repeats the same parable:  fear of the d u a l i t i e s of good and e v i l , love and hate,  within the man-made absolutes Love and God i s destructive.  contained  Dualism and  absolutes issue from the imagination of man, especially the romantic imagination. Darley's account of his a f f a i r with Justine, her r e l a t i o n 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 r i s k of a physical and/or s p i r i t u a l death which i s common to high romantic l i t e r a t u r e and dime-store novels. describes e r o t i c love as a desperate  But Durrell's poetry  compromise between b i o l o g i c a l  process and s p i r i t u a l movement or transmutation.  Only i n d i v i d u a l s e l f -  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and unity can defeat the fear and shame caused by the physical-metaphysical, mind-body d u a l i t y .  Fraser attributes t h i s aspect  of Durrell's symbolism to Jung and the o l d alchemists' concept of "alchemical process as a metaphor for, or analogical representation of s p i r i t u a l process. ""^  10  "The  P r a y e r Wheel" d e s c r i b e s a d e l i c a t e c o u n t e r p o i n t between l o v e  and t h e laws o f p r o c e s s —  "Time i n l o v e ' s d i u r n a l motion."  Stanza  three shows t h e a l l i a n c e o f l o v e w i t h n a t u r a l p r o c e s s : Teach us t h e a l r e a d y known, T u r n i n g i n the i n v i s i b l e saucer By a p e r f e c t r e c r e a t i o n A i r and water mix and p a r t . Reaffirm the l o v e r ' s process, F a i t h and l o v e i n f l e s h a l l o y e d , S p r i n g the c i s t e r n s o f the h e a r t : B u i l d the house o f e n t e r t a i n m e n t On t h e c o l d c i r c u m f e r e n c e Candle-pointed i n the V o i d . 1 7  Stanza s i x p o i n t s t o t h e i n f i n i t y o f t h e h e r a l d i c world, where l o v e r s become t i n y c h e m i c a l u n i t s whose language and a c t i o n s cannot  grasp the  symbolic u n i t y o f t h e Unknown: What i s known i s never w r i t t e n . By t h e e q u a l d i s t r i b u t i o n He and She and I t a r e genders, Sparks o f carbon on t h e c i r c l e Meeting i n t h e p o r c h o f sex. Faces mix and numbers mingle Many a s p e c t s o f t h e One Teach t h e human compromise. Speech w i l l never s t a i n t h e b l u e , Nor t h e l o v e r ' s o c c u l t k i s s e s Hold t h e curves o f Paradise.18 In The A l e x a n d r i a Q u a r t e t the c h a r a c t e r s s u f f e r from the t e n s i o n between d e s i r e f o r union on t h e s e x u a l p l a n e and maintenance o f t h e i r nature as i n d i v i d u a l s .  There i s a c o n s t a n t t r a n s m u t a t i o n o f s p i r i t u a l  o r e m o t i o n a l v a l u e s from b a s e r t o h i g h e r l e v e l s p r o s t i t u t e , muse, and honesty  ( M e l i s s a , seen as  i n c a r n a t e , by Nessim, D a r l e y , and Pursewarden,  f o r example), b u t t h e c o n d i t i o n o f d e s i r e remains  static:  Crude man i n h i s c o a t o f nerves and h a i r Whose k i s s e s l i k e a p o s t l e s go about On t r a n s l a t e d b u s i n e s s never q u i t e h i s own, D e r i v e s from t h e obscure medium o f t h e body, As through some g l a s s c o f f i n , a r e t r i e v e d s p r i t e , H i m s e l f h o l d i n g the h o l y b o t t l e , f a s t a s l e e p . 1 ^  11  Durrell's poetry sketches a blueprint for personal equilibrium by working from the extremes of s o c i a l conformity and mystical s e l f - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n towards a "human compromise," a t r a g i c - i r o n i c capitulation to the conditions of l i f e under which people s t r i v e to love and recognize each other.  "Elegy on the Closing of the French Brothels" i s 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 c i t i e s of unconquered pain. Tessa, the only named figure i n the "Elegy," i s a poetic r e l a t i v e of Melissa of Alexandria: Invented already this darker niece of Egypt, Who leaves the small hashish-pipe by the pillow, Uneasy i n red slippers l i k e the dust i n urns, The smashed columns, wells f u l l of leaves, The faces white as burns.21 The close of the "Elegy" t e l l s us that when fear of the shame of physical love has been conquered no one w i l l be happier, but they w i l l be s e l f - i d e n t i f i e d , at rest with t h e i r own natures, instead of seeking l i k e Da Capo's homunculi to feed upon each other.  The metaphysical  goal i s c l e a r l y stated: . . . We have s t i l l to outgrow The prohibitions i n us with the fears they grow from: For the beloved w i l l be no happier Nor the unloved less hungry when the miracle begins: Yet both w i l l be ineffably disclosed In t h e i r own natures by s i m p l i c i t y Like roses i n a giving o f f of grace.^2 Freedom, for the prototypes i n The Alexandria Quartet consists of an. escape from duality and the achievement of s e l f - i d e n t i t y .  To concretize  t h i s poetic idea, Durrell must i l l u s t r a t e a paradox which i s central to h i s philosophy: i s to lose i t .  to f i g h t or struggle for self-possession, s e l f - l o v e ,  12  The key  to D u r r e l l ' s p a r a b l e  characters to t h e i r imaginations them.  l i e s i n the r e l a t i o n o f h i s and  prototype  the l o v e - i d e a l s c o n t a i n e d  within  A f t e r a d e t a i l e d examination o f the v a r i o u s modes o f l o v e and  p s y c h o l o g i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l backgrounds, two emerge around Narouz and Pursewarden, who  distinct  concentrations  r e f u s e d to compromise  and  h a l t e d the i n e v i t a b l e r e d u c t i o n o f t h e i r c r e d i b i l i t y by death. c o n c e n t r a t i o n i s upon the i d e a o f s t r u g g l e —  thei  The  first  i n the words o f Narouz,  "the i n j u s t i c e o f a d i v i n i t y which r e s p e c t s o n l y man's s t r u g g l e to possess h i s own and is  s o u l " (M, 578).  t o l e a r n how  to submit t o d e s p a i r "  a muse f o r whom he dormant, h i s l i f e  submission,  world  t h a t a new  c r e a t e d a legendary one  l o v e may  he never  Pursewarden l i v e s i n  world.  Narouz' i m a g i n a t i o n  o f c o n t a c t w i t h the e a r t h and p r i m i t i v e  a p a l p a b l e and h a r s h  i n f l a t e d ego,  (M, 440).  job  and h i s major l o v e i s h i s s i s t e r , a double  the l i f e o f h i s i m a g i n a t i o n ,  and  second a r e a emphasizes  i s b e s t i l l u s t r a t e d by L i z a ' s dictum t h a t Pursewarden's "one  the l i t e r a r y i m a g i n a t i o n  his  The  live.  daily reality.  and lies  tribesmen,  Pursewarden submits to  s u r r e n d e r i n g any power over L i z a i n o r d e r  In Narouz i m a g i n a t i v e  life  c r e a t e s a deformed  and he d i e s h o w l i n g l i k e a wounded b e a s t  for a love  had.  The p a r a b l e which emerges from the c o n t r a s t between the deaths o f Narouz and Pursewarden shows t h a t l o v e and which t r a n s c e n d h i s t o r y and  ideals.  s e l f - p o s s e s s i o n are a r t s  D u r r e l l remarked i n an  t h a t "Pursewarden's s u i c i d e i s the s a c r i f i c i a l  interview  s u i c i d e of a true  cathar."  His death i s G n o s t i c i n the sense used by de Rougemont i n d e s c r i b i n g the C a t h a r i s t d o c t r i n e :  " L i f e s h o u l d be ended, 'not out o f weariness  nor o u t o f f e a r o f p a i n , but i n a s t a t e o f u t t e r detachment from  nature'.  13  T h i s s t a t e denotes an acceptance o f the naked s e l f , a f e e l i n g there i s nothing a crusader; God  t o s t r i v e f o r i n the e x t e r n a l w o r l d .  a r e l i g i o u s and  s e l f - l o v e , h i s childhood ability.  resentment and h a t r e d  Both the p r i m i t i v e Narouz and  custodians  o f the  " p o e t i c consciousness  s p r i n g , i n the h e a r t o f everyone"  to  like  use  Because he has  no  surface with h i s p o e t i c  the urbane Pursewarden are which l a y , c o i l e d l i k e  (M, 579).  c o n t r a s t l i e s i n the manner o f t h e i r death — nose cocked t o the c e i l i n g ,  Narouz d i e s  n a t i o n a l i s t i c p r e t e x t a l l o w s him  as a weapon i n h i s f i g h t f o r s e l f - p o s s e s s i o n .  that  The  immense and  a  significant  Pursewarden "with  i n h i s amused p r i v a c y "  (B, 313)  his  and  Narouz,  w i t h h i s whip c o i l e d around h i s body, f a c i n g the unseen enemy. The It  characters  i n The  i s o n l y by a s k i n g how  Alexandria Quartet  these p r o t o t y p e s  o f meaning, and what they stand t h a t one  can  and p s y c h o l o g i c a l Quartet. The  The  first  c o d i f i e d modes o f d e a l i n g w i t h  Examples are v a s s a l a g e  the a t t e n d a n t  for i n mythical  acceptance are e a s i l y r e c o g n i z e d .  o f r a t i o n a l , e t h i c a l , and  prototypes.  r e p r e s e n t the l a r g e r s t r u c t u r e  l o c a t e the "common a x i s " w i t h i n The  o f s t r u g g l e and  belief.  are types or  reality,  poles  consists  life  and  and the m a s t e r - s e r v a n t r e l a t i o n  (with  p o s s i b l e c o m p l i c i t y i n c o n s p i r a c y ) , the i d e a l o f duty,  the f i g h t i n g e t h i c , the r e c o v e r y  of the l o s t r i g h t s o f a n a t i o n a l group,  and extreme a n a l y t i c a l thought.  Ranged a t t h i s end  passion, yearning,  a s p i r a t i o n and,  are the  forces of  as f a r as the l o v e theme i s concerned,  the concomitant d e i f i c a t i o n o f another p e r s o n , o r the need t o r e c e i v e nourishment from him uses p a s s i o n  and  i n a mental sense.  The  e n t i r e Hosnani f a m i l y  s t r u g g l e to o b t a i n t h e i r aims.  14  The second mode o f b e i n g r e s i d e s i n t h e " e s s e n t i a l l y i r r a t i o n a l idea o f gnosis.  lyrical"  Here t h e o l d e s t myths and f e a r s must be  c o n f r o n t e d w i t h o u t t h e j u s t i f i c a t i o n o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l o r moral  causality.  Here d w e l l t h e o r a c l e , t h e b l i n d muse, i n c e s t , the murder o f a b r o t h e r , g u i l t and d e s i r e s hidden  from t h e c o n s c i o u s mind.  the spectrum we f i n d tenderness, t i v e acceptance  Y e t a t t h i s end o f  the p o e t i c c o n s c i o u s n e s s  and the imagina-  o f t h e dark, i n e x p l i c a b l e f a c e t s o f e x i s t e n c e .  Self-  knowledge must emerge from t h e a n c i e n t c u l t u r e d e p o s i t s o f " h i s t o r i c c o n s c i o u s n e s s " which form t h e f o u n d a t i o n s o f A l e x a n d r i a and through her c o n t r o l the prototype characters. When E. M. F o r s t e r says t h a t " H i s t o r y develops, A r t stands  still"  he r e f e r s t o t h e e s s e n t i a l c r e a t i v e task o f t h e a r t i s t v e r s u s t h a t o f 25 the r e c o r d e r o f " f a c t . "  D u r r e l l i s working more a l o n g t h e l i n e s o f  Otto Rank's theory o f t h e b a s i c d u a l i s m between t h e i n d i v i d u a l and t h e community, and t h e e x a l t a t i o n o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t as a g e n i u s . "The  c r e a t i v e a r t i s t i c p e r s o n a l i t y i s thus t h e f i r s t work o f t h e  productive i n d i v i d u a l , " writes Rank.^  Though "the c l a s s i c a l i n a r t  i s what marches by i n t e n t i o n w i t h the cosmology o f t h e age" (B_, 385) , and t h e age has a c o l l e c t i v e s t y l e o f i t s own, the j o b o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t i s t h e one o u t l i n e d by C l e a : of a style o f heart."  Love i t s e l f ,  d e f i n e d as an imbalanced  "to harness  time i n t h e c u l t i v a t i o n  i n The A l e x a n d r i a Q u a r t e t might be  e q u a t i o n between time and t h e s e l f .  The h i s t o r y - b o u n d c h a r a c t e r s i n The Q u a r t e t e x i s t i n a s t a t e o f a r r e s t e d development, even t o t h e e x t e n t o f b e i n g " l i v e d " by t h e i r complementaries i n t h e A l e x a n d r i a n p a s t .  D u r r e l l evokes an A l e x a n d r i a  which i s an o a s i s o f morbid p l e a s u r e and i n t r o s p e c t i o n , where t h e i l l u s i o n  15  of "time spread out f l a t "  (M, 624) makes the thoughts of Petronius  coeval with those of E i n s t e i n . Alexandria i s a dream c i t y which entices i t s inhabitants with false promises of f u l f i l l m e n t .  But just outside  i t s confines i s the desert, "fanned by the bleakness  of a f a i t h which  renounced worldly pleasure."  The landscape i t s e l f i s a model for the  p o l a r i t i e s of indulgence and renunciation, neither of which i s a s a t i s factory solution for the true a r t i s t or lover.  CHAPTER II PERSONALITY CREATION:  THE NOVEL AS THERAPEUTIC INQUIRY  The d u a l i s t i c mode o f representing character and psychological attitude makes i t necessary through contrast.  f o r The Quartet to reveal meaning and value  Many c r i t i c s have noted the number of characters  who balance and echo each other through the four volumes.  One function  of the r e p e t i t i o n device i s to underline the b l i n d responses,  codes,  and conditioned patterns which characters l i k e Justine, Nessim, and Mountolive operate by and b u i l d into such complicated naive Darley of Justine) glamorous e x t e r i o r s .  (and to the  The second function of  the repeated type i s to h i g h l i g h t the chosen exemplars of the City; to demonstrate the d i f f i c u l t y under which a Pombal must labour i f he i s to escape "heart-whole" (J, 24) from Alexandria i f an Antony could not.  Durrell creates so many varied exemplars, tragi-comic martyrs to  their own dreams, i n an e f f o r t to dramatize the process of s e l f - l i b e r a t i o n amidst the most fantastic c o l l e c t i o n of obsessive and fanatic types. 27 Love, the "point f a i b l e "  of the psyche, allows the n o v e l i s t 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 l o s t and great  expressions  he i s demonstrating the degeneration o f the d e f i n i t i o n o f love from a humanly s p e c i f i c term to an abstraction. - 16 -  17  I b e l i e v e t h a t D u r r e l l ' s response to Marc A l y n i n Le Grand S u p p o s i t o i r e , r e g a r d i n g the argument of The B l a c k Book a p p l i e s e q u a l l y t o The but w i t h i n a much l a r g e r f i e l d o f e n q u i r y .  According  Quartet,  to the author,  The  B l a c k Book p u t s the case f o r the d i f f i c u l t y o f s e l f - l i b e r a t i o n and the problem was to make o f o n e s e l f an open wound so as to reach a p o i n t from which to overcome the t w i s t e d aspects o f one's p e r s o n a l i t y . I admired t h a t i n M i l l e r ; a c e r t a i n contempt f o r l i t e r a t u r e which ends by t u r n i n g i t i n t o a therapy. To f r e e o n e s e l f o f t e n s i o n s . Such a p r o j e c t was r a t h e r a p h i l o s o p h i c a l one, r e l i g i o u s even, although I d i s l i k e the word. I f the t r u t h be t o l d , I came v e r y c l o s e to madness. I t was a b s o l u t e l y v i t a l f o r me t o face up to these problems. Impossible then to f a l l back on Freud and Jung, e t c . , who have been such a h e l p to me s i n c e . ^ The  "Consequential  Data" i n B a l t h a z a r give a more ambitious  o b j e c t i v e as the "argument" o f The  Quartet:  "My  and  o b j e c t i n the  extended novels?  To i n t e r r o g a t e human v a l u e s through an honest r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f human p a s s i o n s .  A d e s i r a b l e end,  perhaps a h o p e l e s s  D u r r e l l ' s argument w i t h the modern European value h i s p e r s o n a l b e l i e f i n a form o f emotional overly abstract i n h i s explanations o v e r l y c r y p t i c i n h i s poems. to be  The  o b j e c t i v e " (B_,  s e l f - d i s c o v e r y which seems  asks:  the s u b j e c t i v e  Is there a means o f i n v e s t i g a t i n g  v a l u e s , e s p e c i a l l y s e x u a l and moral ones, w i t h o u t tone o f D. H.  and  Is t h e r e an e q u i l i b r i u m  found between the i r o n i c d i s t a n c e o f Pursewarden and  a n a l y s i s o f B a l t h a z a r and A r n a u t i ?  387).  system dramatizes  o f the " h e r a l d i c u n i v e r s e "  Quartet  the  u s i n g the  prophetic  Lawrence, o r the s a t i r i c v o i c e o f Huxley or Lewis?  D u r r e l l wrote Henry M i l l e r t h a t he wanted The Q u a r t e t  to have a h i g h  degree o f l u c i d i t y because the " t h r e a d o f EXPERIENCE s h i n e s Only the r i c h n e s s o f e x p e r i e n c e  through."  can make p l a u s i b l e the r e v e l a t i o n s o f  self-knowledge and p a r a d o x i c a l l o g i c which precede e n t r y i n t o the  18  "heraldic universe."  I believe that Durrell admires the honesty of the  Gnostic sects i n the same way  i n which he respects Groddeck and Cavafy;  they refused to accept a conventional morality or system of values without f i r s t investigating personal experience to the l i m i t . defines Gnostic attitudes:  "The  R. M. Grant  Gnostic approach to l i f e i s thus a  'passionate s u b j e c t i v i t y ' which counts the world well l o s t for the sake of self-discovery."  After emphasizing the divergent views of  Gnostic sects, and t h e i r common i n t e r e s t i n mythology, Grant states that "Gnostics were ultimately devoted not to mythology but to freedom . . . Gnostic self-knowledge, the r e s u l t of revelation, i s salvation; i t 30 issues i n freedom and a fresh sense of c r e a t i v i t y . "  The  f i r s t definition  could e a s i l y be inserted into Justine and not betray i t s o r i g i n . reaction to Balthazar's  I n t e r l i n e a r shows that Justine was  Darley's  an e n t i r e l y  personal view of Alexandria which became "as dear as a philosophy of introspection, almost a monomania" (B_, 214) .  Justine herself i s an  "arrow i n darkness" i n the search for self-knowledge.  Her s p i r i t of  passionate inquiry i s marred by the "Judeo-Coptic mania for dissection" (J_, 24) and the burden of modern neuroses.  Grant's second d e f i n i t i o n ,  r e f e r r i n g to freedom and fresh c r e a t i v i t y i s the goal seen by and Darley at the close of The Quartet.  Clea  Gnosis i s only one of several  types of h i s t o r i c a l , l i t e r a r y and philosophical background which Durrell uses as thematic l i n k s to t i e the e f f o r t s of i n d i v i d u a l characters the history of Alexandria  to  and the need to escape from i t s atmosphere  of a r i d sexuality and abstract  speculation.  The i l l u s t r a t i o n of a metaphysical revelation (often the r e s u l t of i r o n i c juxtaposition of points of view) as i t emerges from the c o n f l i c t  19  between time and the s e l f , i s the raison d'etre of The Quartet.  These  moments of awakening from i l l u s i o n 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 " s e l f - s e e r . "  The four  volumes are c a r e f u l l y planned i n tone and the degree of introspection and intimacy allowed by point of view a r t f u l l y s h i f t e d , so that the reader must involve himself i n Justine with "passionate  s u b j e c t i v i t y " akin to  .that of Darley, proceed to r e f l e c t i o n and skepticism i n Balthazar, and at l a s t see the conspiracy and intrigue i n Mountolive on an objective level.  Simultaneously the reader r e a l i z e s the l i m i t a t i o n s which the  characters j o y f u l l y impose upon their own freedom of action; irrevocably setting down a grid of circumstance which w i l l imprison  them a l l i n  the name of personal f u l f i l l m e n t or achievement, but which i s i n r e a l i t y i t s antithesis.  This process would make a f i t t i n g summary of the  history of romantic love and i t s obsessional, fated and pre-determined nature. 32 Durrell has written that Mountolive i s the clou to the tetralogy. The determinism of the book i s almost suffocating.  R i g i d i t y i s constantly  emphasized i n images of ancient frescoes, ikons, s u i t s of armour, even allusions to being buried a l i v e :  "They were both bound now, t i e d l i k e  bondsmen to the u n r o l l i n g action which i l l u s t r a t e d the personal predispositions of neither.  They had embarked on a free exercise of the  w i l l only to f i n d themselves shackled, bricked up by the h i s t o r i c a l process"  (M, 566).  On the following page the constraint put upon  personal  freedom by duty and r i g i d ideals i s described:  20  The knowledge o f the f a c t t h a t they must, e x p r e s s i o n l e s s as k n i g h t s n a i l e d i n t o s u i t s o f armour, continue upon a predetermined c o u r s e , c o n s t i t u t e d both a s e p a r a t i o n and a new, deeper bond; a more p a s s i o n a t e comradeship, such as s o l d i e r s enjoy upon the f i e l d o f b a t t l e , aware t h a t they have renounced a l l thought o f human c o n t i n u i t y i n terms o f l o v e , f a m i l y , f r i e n d s , home — become s e r v a n t s o f an i r o n w i l l which e x h i b i t s i t s e l f i n the m a i l e d mask o f duty. (M, 567) Mountolive sense.  i s the book o f h i s t o r i c a l p r o c e s s , even i n the p s y c h o l o g i c a l  Mountolive i s the o n l y volume t o p r o v i d e a c h i l d h o o d o r adolescence  f o r the major c h a r a c t e r s —  Mountolive, Nessim, and even Pursewarden.  I t i s t h i s book which c o n t a i n s the statement t h a t "Love i s every o f c o n s p i r a c y " (M, 556).  The d e s i r e o f c o n s p i r a t o r s to serve  sort  their  cause r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e f e e l i n g s o f o t h e r s p a r a l l e l s r e l i g i o u s o r h i g h romantic d e v o t i o n o f the type d e s c r i b e d by Denis de Rougemont i n Love i n the Western World; i t consumes the w i l l e i t h e r v o l u n t a r i l y o r i n v o l u n t a r i l y and d e l i v e r s the c h a r a c t e r s over t o the power o f o b s e s s i o n a l passions. vision.  Spontaneous a c t i o n and f e e l i n g are c o r o l l a r i e s o f h e r a l d i c Mountolive i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by images o f w i t h h e l d a c t i o n which  take t h e form o f grotesque p r e g n a n c i e s .  Only the c l o s i n g scene a t  Narouz' f u n e r a l d i s s o l v e s the r a t i o n a l r e s t r a i n t s on f u l f i l l i n g  the  demands o f t h e senses, and prepares the r e a d e r f o r the r e b i r t h o f feeling i n Clea.  To Nessim, the sounds o f water t r i c k l i n g and sponges  c r u s h i n g on the body o f h i s b r o t h e r "seemed p a r t o f an e n t i r e l y f a b r i c o f thought and emotion"  (M, 651).  F o r Nessim, h i s b r o t h e r ' s  death i s a l i b e r a t i o n from the c o n f l i c t between l o v e and duty. m a s t e r - s e r v a n t d u a l i t y o f t h e i r power s t r u g g l e i s a t l a s t Narouz had o r i g i n a l l y e x h i b i t e d a p a s s i o n t o serve o f many o f the Quartet's exemplars.  new  The  nullified.  characteristic  With J u s t i n e i t i s an  "Oriental  21  desire"  (B_, 242) , a k i n d o f c a t a l y t i c  f u n c t i o n which suppresses  any  form o f d i r e c t a c t i o n , and ensures t h a t she never emerges as a d i s c r e t e personality.  Only the d e s i r e to p l e a s e  and  the p o s s e s s i o n  guarded s e c r e t s give J u s t i n e ' s performance a meaning. withheld Nur,  a c t i o n caused by  the d e s i r e to p l e a s e  in a bottle  J u s t i n e was already  595) .  Darley  foetus o f a c h i l d "  abnormal growth must be  " i n f l a t e d now  by  (B_, 367) .  of Alexandria,  (M,  625).  this passion  f a l s e grandeur and  that  " i n v i s i b l e as  the  To these examples o f  added the p i c t u r e o f M o u n t o l i v e  a sense o f tremendous d i g n i t y and  sounds"  character  resembles a  realizes i n retrospect  He walked"slowly, l i k e a pregnant woman n e a r i n g s i g h t s and  He  c a r r y i n g Pursewarden's death w i t h i n h e r ,  conceived  s t i f l e d and  (M,  image o f  i s p r e s e n t e d i n the  the t r a p p e d l e s s e r o f f i c i a l beneath Memlik.  "foetus  An  of jealously  In the c o n t e x t to serve  self-importance  . . . .  term, d r i n k i n g i n the  o f the h i s t o r y and  and p l e a s e  culture  which y i e l d s o n l y  a dangerous l a c k o f p e r c e p t i o n  towards the  a  consequences  o f a c t i o n i s a death f o r Pursewarden's dream o f the t r u l y c r e a t i v e , expressive  personality.  weakest spot i n the  T h i s d e s i r e to p l e a s e  " p o i n t f a i b l e " o f the psyche which i s l o v e .  q u a l i t i e s are so d i s p e r s e d ,  she  w h i l e she plot —  and makes h e r  s i n g l e q u a l i t y t h a t can be  i n which J u s t i n e l i v e s — a s s e s s e s her  seem l i k e an  loved or hated.  always c a l c u l a t i n g and  gambling on  ancient The  manner  the  future  l o v e r s as dangerous o r not dangerous to the  i s a b e t r a y a l o f l o v e and  political  the c i t y i t s e l f , which made even  Caesar and Antony f o r g e t t h e i r p o l i t i c a l lovers f i r s t .  Justine's  i s so uncomprehending about h e r s e l f ,  t h a t the l a c k o f u n i t y d e f i n e s her goddess, w i t h no  a t a l l c o s t s i s the  selves  f o r a time and  live  P a r a d o x i c a l l y , but q u i t e c l e a r l y , J u s t i n e o p e r a t e s  by  as  22  the same p r i n c i p l e as David Mountolive. d i f f i c u l t y of being a career diplomat fatuities  Pursewarden meditates on  and the necessary  s u f f e r i n g of  " d e l i b e r a t e l y endured i n the name o f what was  most h o l y i n  the p r o f e s s i o n , namely the d e s i r e t o p l e a s e , i n o r d e r t o i n f l u e n c e " (M, 519). Justine, which she spot,  the  the d e t e r m i n a t i o n  In the f i r s t and  to c a p t i v a t e  l a s t glimpses o f  from the time she d e l i v e r s Darley t o Nessim to the p o i n t a t l e a d s Memlik down the s t r e e t , her d e s i r e to l o c a t e the weak  the " p o i n t f a i b l e , " and h e r d e t e r m i n a t i o n  to p l e a s e  i n order  to  c a p t i v a t e are the same. The  i n c r e a s i n g i n t e n s i t y , volume by volume, o f o b j e c t i v i t y  p a i n and knowledge m i r r o r s growth i n a way but  spatial —  t h a t - t r u l y seems not  temporal,  c o n d i t i o n e d by the angle o f i n q u i r y which dominates  p a r t i c u l a r book. i n f o r m a t i o n and  towards  Yet, because o f t h e c a r e f u l l y designed s p e c u l a t i o n , the continuum o f d i s c o v e r y  layers of  the new  experienced  by the c h a r a c t e r s and t h e word continuum o f the s t r u c t u r e go hand i n hand.  The word continuum d e f i n e s and  r e f l e c t s growth and  the  attainment  o f self-knowledge i n the r e a d e r o f the poem " C i t i e s , P l a i n s and  People":  To a l l who t u r n and s t a r t descending The l o n g sad r i v e r o f t h e i r growth: The tidebound, t e p i d , c a u s e l e s s Continuum o f t e r r o r s i n the s p i r i t , I g i v e you here unending In i d l e n e s s an i n n o c e n t b e g i n n i n g  33 U n t i l your p a i n becomes a l i t e r a t u r e . The  i d e a o f r e l a t i v i t y i s used as a t o o l to vary and a d j u s t the p o i n t s  o f view which e i t h e r i n c r e a s e or d i m i n i s h t h i s p a i n , and t h e c o - r e l a t i v e degree o f self-knowledge.  There are many b l a t a n t c l i c h e s i n The  Most o f them, such as D a r l e y ' s b e l i e f t h a t he was by h i s e x p e r i e n c e  w i t h J u s t i n e , are c o n v e n t i o n a l  immeasurably r a t i o n a l e s of  Quartet.  enriched the  23  romantic  lover.  The b e s t way  t o assuage the p a i n o f e x p e r i e n c e  (at  l e a s t i n t e l l e c t u a l l y ) i s t o v a l u e e x p e r i e n c e i t s e l f as i n n a t e l y e n r i c h i n g . One  o f the most important i n d i c a t o r s o f D u r r e l l ' s purpose i s Pursewarden,  and he never v a l u e s e x p e r i e n c e  f o r i t s own  sake. —  He  sees J u s t i n e as  " t h a t tiresome s e x u a l t u r n s t i l e "  (J_, 285)  r a t h e r than a f r e s h e x p e r i e n c e .  Yet he a l s o sees her as a human b e i n g  i n s t e a d o f a goddess o r mythic her  an e v e r p r e s e n t n e c e s s i t y  queen, and t r i e s to s o l v e the problem o f  "Check" (the o b s e s s i o n w i t h a memory o f c h i l d h o o d rape) w i t h a  suggestion of d i r e c t action. neuroses  Pursewarden attempts  t o f r e e her from  her  r a t h e r than d e f i n e h e r by them as D a r l e y does.  D u r r e l l ' s use o f the n o v e l as a v e h i c l e f o r i n q u i r y and t h e r a p e u t i c r e v e l a t i o n reached i t s g r e a t e s t range and h e i g h t i n The Quartet. and Nunquam  ( c o l l e c t i v e l y t i t l e d The  P r i n c e o f Darkness  R e v o l t o f Aphrodite)  and  Tunc  the  (or Monsieur) a l l e x h i b i t a s e l f - s a t i r e on t h i s r e v e l a t o r y  and m e t a p h y s i c a l mode, and show a complete f a i l u r e t o achieve  the  balance o f paradox and i r o n y , form and c o n t e n t , t h a t make The A l e x a n d r i a Quartet a g r e a t work. maintained  The d e v i c e o f two  i n the l a t e r n o v e l s  or more a r t i s t s o r w r i t e r s i s  ( i n the case o f Tunc-Nunquam an i n v e n t o r  i s s u b s t i t u t e d , but w i t h the same g e n e r a l e f f e c t ) .  Koepgen, the p o e t  o f Tunc-Nunquam i s a r e v e a l i n g c h a r a c t e r i n the s e l f - s a t i r e , which i s n o t c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n the t e x t i n a f i c t i o n a l s e t t i n g  (as i s the  w i t h D a r l e y and Pursewarden), b u t q u i t e o b v i o u s l y i n v i t e s the t o compare Koepgen's a r t i s t i c p r o c e s s to D u r r e l l ' s own. architect "'He  case  reader  Caradoc, the  (another k i n d o f s c i e n t i f i c a r t i s t ) comments on Koepgen:  has been slumming among the G n o s t i c s , s e l l i n g h i s b i r t h r i g h t f o r a  p o t o f message.  He w i l l end by becoming an Orthodox P r o u s t o r a  |  24  monarcho-trappist.  A l l monks are grotesque lay figures —  figures of  34 funk.'"  A description of Koepgen's poems contains the same claim  for a romantic i d e n t i t y between acts and thoughts that echoes through the Quartet:  "moving ideograms of other love-objects l i v i n g i n t h e i r  Platonic form —  'man' 'rose' ' f i r e '  'star.'  A l l the furniture of  Koepgen's poems, which he claimed were r e a l l y 'acts, the outer skin of 35 thought.'"  This aphorism occurs i n the Quartet i n 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 i s our raison d'etre here below" (C_, 760) .  And i t i s r e l i g i o n , according to Pursewarden,  that has prevented the r e a l i z a t i o n of this truth, especially the r a t i o n a l e t h i c a l form of western r e l i g i o u s thought.  The Alexandria Quartet  s a t i r i z e s r e l i g i o n s and c u l t s , whether mystic or p o l i t i c a l , which the characters espouse rather than face the frightening task of personality creation without crutches. I f Pursewarden i s the theoretical spokesman for the Quartet, Clea i s i t s recordkeeper.  She co-ordinates and rethinks events and  emotions which the other characters are too busy experiencing.  Clea's  l e t t e r s give the l a s t news o f Alexandria i n a l l of the books, excepting the objective Mountolive.  In the l e t t e r 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 i n turn set o f f their own self-analyses; so that "Capodistria's crime, i n 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" i s removed, the regeneration  25  of Nessim's passional l i f e with Melissa, and the subsequent shame and return of "the o l d heartsickness"  (the disease which true Alexandrians  die of, according to Leila) (C, 864). point about this war sexuality which was  F i n a l l y Clea  arrives at her  for self-possession and control of the ego the world of Justine.  never equally matched —  do you think?  One  She writes:  and  "'Lovers are  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. this i s the only t r a g i c thing about love?'" (J, 193). for  a friendship which i s "wordless, idealess."  the body to the p r i e s t s .  Surely  Her l a s t hope i s  She leaves f a i t h i n  I t i s f i d e l i t y i n the " c u l p r i t mind" that  t r u l y l i b e r a t e s . The Quartet c l e a r l y defines the way  to f a i l u r e i n  love through possession, p i t y , confessional relationships, and even love by correspondence.  Capodistria becomes an arch p r i e s t to Justine,  L i z a a courtly love heroine to Pursewarden, L e i l a the image of Egypt to Mountolive, and Panagotis the "personage of Seleucia" of Cavafy's poem "One  of t h e i r Gods" to Balthazar.  I t i s important to note that  Clea, as the cornerstone of the romantic development without enslavement or possession, might e a s i l y have become overshadowed by Amaril,  but  recovers to proudly name herself the co-author of Semira's nose.  Amaril  i s Pygmalion, but not Clea's Pygmalion. Clea refers to Justine's reverence for Capodistria, and her for  "Humility!  The l a s t trap that awaits the ego i n search of  truth" (J, 192)  absolute  and r e f l e c t s that Justine's loss of a block of her  would have resulted i n r e l i g i o u s conversion Alexandrian.  search  life  i f she had not been an  Yet the words arch-priest, absolution, confessional, mark  26  the remainder of Clea's commentary.  She i s making the same judgement  that Pursewarden makes on Balthazar's dependence on the Cabal, and the general trend of c i t y man  toward occultism to combat the absence of  freedom and style which the a r t i s t must struggle to extract from modern life.  Durrell i s p a r a l l e l i n g Jung's analogy between the loss of true  r e l i g i o u s expression as a means of dealing with the unknown and darker contents of the psyche, and the r i s e of occult replacements i n the modern era. of  In Modern Man i n Search of a Soul Jung underlines the fascination the modern man with "the almost pathological manifestations of the  unconscious mind."  He points out the growth of s p i r i t u a l i s m , theosophy,  and s i m i l a r mystical investigations of the psyche, and concludes: We can compare i t only to the flowering of Gnostic thought i n the f i r s t and second centuries after C h r i s t . The s p i r i t u a l currents of the present have, i n fact, a deep a f f i n i t y with Gnosticism . . . . Compared with these movements the i n t e r e s t i n s c i e n t i f i c psychology i s n e g l i g i b l e . What i s s t r i k i n g about Gnostic systems i s that they are based exclusively upon the manifestations of the unconscious, and that t h e i r moral teachings do not baulk at the shadow-side of l i f e . . . . The passionate interest i n these movements arises undoubtedly from psychic energy which can no longer be invested i n obsolete forms of religion.37 Pursewarden gives Darley a serious, yet i r o n i c background to his novel God i s a Humorist.  Clea's l e t t e r echoes Pursewarden's assertions,  e s p e c i a l l y the idea that r e l i g i o n i s a great trap for the ego, and she was  reading God i s a. Humorist at the time of writing.  Pursewarden  explains to Darley that Balthazar " w i l l never understand that i t i s with God we must be the most careful; for He makes such a powerful appeal to what i s lowest i n human nature —  our f e e l i n g of i n s u f f i c i e n c y ,  fear of the unknown, personal f a i l i n g s ; above a l l our monstrous egotism which sees i n the martyr's crown an a t h l e t i c prize which i s r e a l l y hard  27  to a t t a i n "  ( J , 116-7).  and minute accounts organ  He c o n t i n u e s w i t h one o f t h e most  o f b i o l o g i c a l process i n l i t e r a t u r e —  grotesque an organ by  d e t a i l i n g o f man, " s e a r c h i n g f o r a c o - o r d i n a t i n g scheme, the  syntax o f a W i l l , which might s t a b i l i z e e v e r y t h i n g and take the tragedy out o f i t "  ( J , 117). The n o i s e o f t h e body motions,  t h e mechanics o f  thought.on t h e a r t e r i a l l e v e l , never a l l o w a m y s t i c q u i e t , a pause i n which t o a s c e r t a i n one's e x a c t p o s i t i o n . the sound o f a v o i c e r e a d i n g Cavafy,  The g r i s l y account ends w i t h  "with an emotion so deep t h a t i t  was almost h o r r o r " : I d e a l v o i c e s and much b e l o v e d Of those who d i e d , o f those who a r e Now l o s t f o r us l i k e t h e v e r y dead; Sometimes w i t h i n a dream they speak Or i n the t i c k i n g b r a i n a thought  r e v i v e s them . . . .  Both t h e s e u t t e r a n c e s o f t h e A r t i s t b e t r a y the most p o w e r f u l who l e e r s over The Q u a r t e t :  the n a t u r a l a p p e t i t e f o r tragedy and chaos,  r e v e a l e d i n t h e a c t o f w o r s h i p p i n g o u r g r e a t e s t weaknesses egotism,  demiurge  (dependency,  g u i l t ) and t h e mind which a r b i t r a r i l y r e t u r n s l o s t i d e a l s i n  forms which do n o t e x i s t f o r the s u f f e r i n g v i c t i m i n r e a l i t y ;  lost  o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r human c o n t a c t i n a w o r l d i n which the c h a r a c t e r s are solitaries.  The o n l y mode o f escape i s by l o o k i n g h o n e s t l y a t the  transitoriness of l i f e  and i t s "shadow-side."  D u r r e l l employs a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount o f background l i t e r a t u r e on the theory and psychology  o f l o v e , and t h e i n f l u e n c e o f w r i t e r s who have  b a t t l e d m o r a l i t y i n The Man Who Died i s c i t e d as an example o f a p a r a b l e d e p i c t i n g t h e r e b i r t h o f f r e e man — to rescue Jesus  from Moses"  (C_, 762) .  " H i s [Lawrence's] s t r u g g l e i s ours The "Notes t o B r o t h e r A s s " i n  C l e a are o f t e n t e d i o u s and over-blown, b u t they do d e l i v e r a p r o p h e t i c  —  28  message, i f the f r o z e n images o f r e l i g i o u s s t r i c t u r e i n Mountolive are kept i n mind, and the p e r s o n a l f i n d i n g s o f the m o l e - l i k e D a r l e y o f Justine recalled —  the enrichment  o f the a r t i s t f o r a way  o f even a " f a l s e " l o v e .  t o r e l a t e the p h y s i c a l and the  becomes one which c e n t r e s on the l o v e e x p e r i e n c e .  The  search  metaphysical  Otto Rank f i n d s  a r t r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n o f God,  and the  o f the s o u l .  such as Shakespeare  Men  o f an age  l i k e the Renaissance,  humanization  and M i c h e l a n g e l o , a r t i s t s i s o l a t e d from c o l l e c t i v e r e l i g i o u s  beliefs,  3: developed  a need f o r an i n d i v i d u a l Muse, o r i n d i v i d u a l i z e d s o u l  concept.  The d e s p a i r which Pursewarden s u f f e r s i s e x a c t l y the malady o f the i n s e p a r a b l y , and i n t h i s case, i n c e s t u o u s l y r e l a t e d to h i s Muse.  artist Like  a l l e g o r i c a l c h a r a c t e r s , the. p r o t o t y p e s o f The A l e x a n d r i a Q u a r t e t are governed by c e r t a i n p a s s i o n s o r i d e a s which c o n t r o l t h e i r a c t i o n s . Narouz, i n s p i r e d by the r e c l u s e Taor, has r e a s s e r t e d the p r i m i t i v e worship  o f the s o u l o f the l a n d i t s e l f , b e l o v e d Egypt.  Although  i s i n f e c t e d by the w i l l - t o - p o w e r , the source o f p o e t i c beauty same —  the i d e a o f the s o u l and the i n d i v i d u a l muse.  Pursewarden meet i n "man's s t r u g g l e t o possess h i s own e n i g m a t i c a r t i s t and the a s c e t i c who a l o v e which was who  i s the  Here Narouz and soul."  The  w i e l d s a whip, are both plagued  But the a r t i s t abandons h i s w i l l  t o death when c i r c u m s t a n c e s  and  v i o l a t e h i s dream o f union w i t h  The p r i m i t i v e b a t t l e s an u n c o n t r o l l a b l e unknown w i t h h i s w i l l . In "The  by  doomed t o remain an ideogram, both t r e a s u r i n g a c r e a t u r e  inhabits their visions.  submits  Narouz  Quartet:  Two  Reviews," L i o n e l T r i l l i n g d i s c u s s e s the  d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the modern n o v e l i s t t o s u b o r d i n a t e the work and reader to h i s w i l l ,  the  and concludes w i t h a v e r y p e r c e p t i v e i n t u i t i o n :  Liza.  29  We can almost suppose that Mr. Durrell confronted this question e x p l i c i t l y , and h i t upon the answer that the only possible way was by i n v e r t i n g the tendency o f the novel, by chucking out the w i l l . We can fancy that at this c r u c i a l point i n h i s career he read The Man Who Died and found i n Lawrence's story of resurrection a parable of the possible rebirth of the novel — the world to be thought-of not as a f i e l d upon which the b a t t l e for salvation i s fought but simply as the o f f e r of l i f e . 3 9 He continues to suggest Schopenhauer's The World as W i l l and Representation as a second i n s p i r a t i o n towards reaction against the t r a d i t i o n a l concerns of the novel.  But Durrell's purpose i s not to banish the w i l l e n t i r e l y ;  only to show the f u l l range of the b a t t l e , and to d i s t i n g u i s h the dormant w i l l for l i f e and r i g h t attention from the frenzied destructive w i l l of passion. The danger of an a l l e g o r i z i n g experiment of this kind i s pinpointed by Joyce Cary i n Art and Reality. his  A r e a l l y great writer, obsessed with  theme wishes to develop i t as c l e a r l y as possible, therefore, "Just  because o f t h i s clearness, this d e f i n i t i o n of meaning, allegory i s a standing temptation  to the great writers.  What's more, t h e i r greatest  triumphs are achieved i n that narrow space between allegory and the 40 dramatic scene.  Lawrence's masterpiece,  St. Mawr, i s an example."  Tolstoy's use of Vronsky's horse and i t s r e l a t i o n to Anna i n Anna Karenina i s unfavourably  compared to Lawrence's superior use of St. Mawr  as a symbol to personify his i n t u i t i v e l y conceived theme within a conceptual structure.  Cary has valuable remarks to make on the mechanical  nature of allegory i f i t i s not properly transformed concept, as i n St. Mawr.  from i n t u i t i o n to  The self-evident weakness i n The Quartet  i s the puppet-like q u a l i t y of i t s characters.  This i s due to the planned  oppressive atmosphere of place, which i s i t s e l f a device that enables  30  the author t o c o n c e p t u a l i z e own p r o c e s s  the characters;  t o l e t them l i v e o u t h i s  o f s e l f - q u e s t i o n i n g , t o make them p e r f o r m t h e t r a n s l a t i o n  from i n t u i t i o n i n t o concept.  The e m o t i o n a l alchemy, the u n t r a n s l a t a b l e  moment o f f e e l i n g , i s changed i n t o t h e Word. of the process,  as Cary d e s c r i b e s  The e s s e n t i a l f i n a l  i t , i s the transformation  stage  o f the  41 concept "back i n t o a v e h i c l e which conveys the i n t u i t i o n . " Durrell often f a i l s  Lawrence  t o p e r f o r m t h i s u l t i m a t e and c r u c i a l s t e p .  Thus  the e n d i n g o f C l e a , which symbolizes a r e b i r t h , a l i b e r a t i o n from t h e burdens o f g u i l t and m i s p l a c e d  emotion, a p o s i t i v e submission t o l i f e  i n s t e a d o f a defense a g a i n s t i t , takes t h e form o f a s t r o n g without a strong conceptual  intuition  framework t o support i t .  That D u r r e l l h i m s e l f was aware o f t h e mechanism o f t h e moral a l l e g o r y and h i s o v e r - c a s u a l  use o f t h e d e v i c e ,  i s e v i d e n c e d by h i s  remarks t o Henry M i l l e r on t h e s u b j e c t o f The Dark L a b y r i n t h . to the book as "'an extended m o r a l i t y , style of a detective story.  1  He r e f e r s  b u t w r i t t e n a r t l e s s l y i n the  G u i l t , S u p e r s t i t i o n , The Good L i f e , a l l  42 appear as o r d i n a r y people  . . . ."  The Quartet  i s immeasurably  t o The Dark L a b y r i n t h , y e t t r a c e s o f t h e technique o f the l a t t e r  superior remain.  T h i s most expansive o f w r i t e r s i n d e s c r i p t i o n , p r o s e s t y l e , and e x o t i c atmosphere, i n s e r t s c h a r a c t e r sketches and i n v i t e s the r e a d e r characters  i n t o T a r o t c a r d key f i g u r e s .  s e r i o u s e f f o r t s i n c e The Black Book. q u e s t i o n i n g o f experience  The Q u a r t e t  A more  t o decode  was D u r r e l l ' s f i r s t  metaphysical-philosophic  by a g r e a t e r v a r i e t y o f c h a r a c t e r s  (both the  a c t o r s i n the book and analogous complementaries o f h i s t o r i c a l  Alexandria)  r e p l a c e s t h e h y s t e r i c a l and p e r s o n a l i z e d view o f t h e p r o t a g o n i s t i n the e a r l i e r book.  In The Q u a r t e t  the c l a r i t y o f a l l e g o r y i s approximated  by the b a s i c d u a l i t y o f the c o n d i t i o n o f l i f e a t e n s i o n and a c o n f l i c t , wrested  itself.  Love e x i s t s  as  from the s p l i t between mind and  body, the m e t a p h y s i c a l w o r l d and the realm o f c a r n a l d e s i r e , the demands o f the pagan A p h r o d i t e and the mind-habits until  o f Judaeq-Coptic h e r i t a g e ,  the r e b i r t h o f f r e e emotion o c c u r s i n C l e a .  The e s s e n t i a l c o n c e p t u a l  43 base i s t h a t o f a " d i a l e c t i c between p h y s i c a l and m e t a p h y s i c a l  love."  A l e x a n d r i a i s a l i v i n g example o f t h i s d i a l e c t i c ; a t once the anus mundi and the White C i t y , p o p u l a t e d by h o l y men  and p r o c u r e r s .  the s t y l e o f Aldous Huxley, b u t he r e t a i n e d Huxley's  Durrell discarded  technique o f  c a r e f u l l y s e e d i n g the t e x t w i t h p h i l o s o p h i c s p e c u l a t i o n . P o i n t i s o b v i o u s l y analogous  t o The Q u a r t e t .  Point  The e p i g r a p h a t the b e g i n n i n g  o f P o i n t Counter P o i n t i s almost d u p l i c a t e d i n Pursewarden's commentary" d u r i n g h i s e v e n i n g w i t h M e l i s s a . reads:  Pursewarden's v e r s i o n i s :  by these d i v e r s e laws?/Eros, Agape — The  The Huxley  "What meaneth nature by these d i v e r s e laws — /  s e l f - d i v i s i o n ' s cause?"  "inaudible  epigraph  P a s s i o n and  reason,  "What meaneth Heaven  s e l f - d i v i s i o n ' s cause"  r e l a t i o n between the Huxley-Quarles  Counter  (M,  533).  f i g u r e and the Lawrence-Rampion  c h a r a c t e r i n Huxley's book i s p a r a l l e l e d by D u r r e l l ' s use o f a Pursewarden who  i s a Huxley  type, y e t empathizes  w i t h Lawrence's a s p i r a t i o n s .  Like  The Q u a r t e t , P o i n t Counter P o i n t i n c o r p o r a t e s the notebook w r i t i n g s o f i t s major author f i g u r e .  The  f i r s t e x c e r p t from the Ouarles notebook  d e s c r i b e s the technique D u r r e l l uses i n The A l e x a n d r i a Q u a r t e t . w i t h an analogy mood —  to m u s i c a l modulation  —  n o t o n l y o f key, but a l s o o f  the d i s c u s s i o n shows the two ways i n which a n o v e l i s t  "modulate":  Beginning  may  e i t h e r by d u p l i c a t i n g p r o t o t y p e s i t u a t i o n s , i n o r d e r t h a t  d i s s i m i l a r c h a r a c t e r s may  be seen i n the same predicament,  o r the  32  opposite — is  s i m i l a r people i n d i s s i m i l a r s i t u a t i o n s .  the more important one  assume the the  god-like  events o f the  i n terms o f The  c r e a t i v e p r i v i l e g e and  as,  "The  from the  aesthetic  He  second a l t e r n a t i v e novelist  simply e l e c t t o  story i n t h e i r various aspects —  economic, r e l i g i o u s , m e t a p h y s i c a l , e t c . the o t h e r —  Quartet:  The  can  consider  emotional,  scientific,  w i l l modulate from one  t o the psycho-chemical a s p e c t  to of  44 things,  from the r e l i g i o u s to the p h y s i o l o g i c a l o r f i n a n c i a l . "  Included i n t h i s s e l f - a d v i c e  i s the  the work t o j u s t i f y a e s t h e t i c the  monstrous q u a l i t y  patly.  The  modern s o c i e t y  The  Rampion's s o l u t i o n to the  f o r the human b e i n g , and  major d i f f e r e n c e  the  which are  recognition  of  r e e l o f f ideas  a l t h o u g h the  a p a r t o f the v e n a l i t y o f the  "dualistically,  in  two  the o t h e r f o r the i n d u s t r i a l i z e d the e a r l i e r  Counter P o i n t  and  l i k e the bar Ulysses.  Counter  529).  city i s continually  scenes  The  do not  emphasized,  cafe's  which a s s u r e s them a s m a l l income.  e f f e c t i v e l y eliminated  the  seem to care much f o r i t , Yet  Durrell  or anyone's, compart-  o f t h e i r f e e l i n g s away from t h e i r working l i f e  D u r r e l l has  the  s e t t i n g which i s never v i v i d l y p i c t u r e d ,  manages to have Pursewarden r e a l i z e t h a t M e l i s s a ' s , mentalization  too  i n d i v i d u a l psychology  t r a d i t i o n , such as P o i n t  major c h a r a c t e r s e i t h e r have money but o r have some p r o f e s s i o n  too  Alexandria Quartet i s  even o f v i g n e t t e s  so important i n P o i n t  o f A l e x a n d r i a are  (M,  into  i s the complete absence o f the p r e s s u r e o f the working l i f e ,  modern i n d u s t r i a l complex, and  and  a novelist  between D u r r e l l ' s Q u a r t e t and  ' m u l t i p l i c i t y ' n o v e l s o f the E n g l i s h Point  and  (as c h a r a c t e r s ) o f people who  i s to have people l i v i n g  compartments," one worker.  generalization,  r e l a t i o n o f these statements to The  obvious to d e t a i l . in  idea of putting  i s Death  class differentiations  33  and the background of modern i n d u s t r i a l i s m which detract from the purely emotional  f i e l d of most of the major novels of twentieth century writers,  Joyce Cary's t r i l o g i e s , a l l the works of Lawrence, Joyce's Ulysses, Musil's The Man Without Q u a l i t i e s , Conrad's Nostromo a l l contain varying economic, s o c i a l or p o l i t i c a l factors which often outweigh the concern with love and a r t .  thematic  Durrell's Alexandrian background simply  reinforces the love theme and makes an e x p e r i e n t i a l synthesis and variety of modulation easier to achieve.  He has created a setting which embodies,  h i s t o r i c a l l y and philosophically, the Eros-Agape c o n f l i c t by the two sheiks i n Mountolive —  the true holy man  represented  and the procurer.  Alexandria i s a place where r e l i g i o n and celebration join i n a true marriage of space and time:  "The dozen faiths and r e l i g i o n s shared a  celebration which time had s a n c t i f i e d , which was made common to a l l and dedicated to a season and a landscape,  completely o b l i t e r a t i n g i t s  canon referents i n lore and code" (B_, 318) . Huxley's essay "Fashions i n Love" gives an almost perfect synopsis of Durrell's metaphoric and conceptual plan for the Quartet.  The same  dualism i s placed against a background of myth, the same hope evinced that the i n d i v i d u a l may  dislodge himself from the "human compromise":  "At any given h i s t o r i c a l moment human behaviour i s a compromise (enforced from without by law and custom, from within by b e l i e f i n r e l i g i o u s or philosophical myths) between the raw i n s t i n c t on the one hand and the unattainable ideal on the other —  a compromise, i n our sculptural  metaphor, between the unshaped block of stone and the many-armed dancing 45 Krishna."  Huxley's thesis i s that a revived mythology i s necessary  to recreate the c o n f l i c t between external or inner r e s t r a i n t and the  34  unbridled sexual impulse produce Love).  (this c o n f l i c t being e s s e n t i a l i n order to  He suggests D. H. Lawrence's new formulation of nature  mythology as promising, emphasizes the personal, inner quality of t h i s form of r e s t r a i n t and declares Human Personality, although a mythical figure i t s e l f  (as 'personality as a whole') preferable to God.  This  i s the same paradox which forms a continuous thematic thread i n The Quartet:  although personality as a whole i s an i l l u s i o n , personal  f u l f i l l m e n t or the achievement of some sort of unitary competency as a person i s e s s e n t i a l . The sculptural metaphor which Huxley refers to i s linked to personal achievement by Clea when she talks about the "perfection to be achieved i n matching oneself to one's capacities —  at every l e v e l "  (C_, 745).  To do this the a r t i s t (in the sculptural metaphor) must "disengage from the d u l l block of marble which houses i t , and s t a r t to l i v e "  itself (C_, 744) .  Huxley also uses the sea as a metaphor for the road to transcendence. He writes that "What i s being pointed out by the anti-theologians i s that i t i s not much use having a compass i f one doesn't possess a ship i n which to cross the sea.  Among the transcendental pragmatists of the  Orient the stress i s l a i d on the ship —  the method of self-transcendence,  by means of which the i n d i v i d u a l makes h i s own destiny and, to some 46 extent, that of the people with whom he comes i n contact."  Darley's  voyage to the i s l a n d and h i s return to Alexandria i s part of a s e l f educational moulding of h i s own destiny.  When Balthazar delivers the  Justine manuscript to Darley's i s l a n d (which Clea refers to as a "sort of metaphor l i k e Descartes' oven") (B, 382), Darley finds the boat's anchor-chain a "moving sight to one who, l i k e myself, had been landlocked  35  in  s p i r i t as a l l w r i t e r s are —  s a i l i n g nowhere . . . " for  constant  transform  heraldic  (B, 213).  Scobie,  who  p o s s e s s e s the  ability  "sea-change," l i v e s i n a s o r t o f e t e r n a l P r e s e n t where  memory i s captured should  indeed, become l i k e a s h i p i n a b o t t l e ,  and  f r e s h l y h e l d , i n the same way  i n which an  the moment w i t h o u t l o s i n g i t s immediacy.  "preservation  artist  T h i s i s the  i n essence" t o which D u r r e l l r e f e r s .  Huxley  uses the same phrase from K i n g Lear, "Ripeness i s a l l , " which D u r r e l l a p p l i e s t o Scobie to c h a r a c t e r i z e F r i e d a Lawrence. i t as r e f l e c t i n g an  Huxley i n t e r p r e t s  " e s s e n t i a l l y r e a l i s t i c view o f l i f e , "  the a b i l i t y t o a c c e p t e v e r y t h i n g  which  includes  w i t h the h e a r t as a c h i l d does and  c a p a c i t y to l i v e each moment as i t comes, i n t o t a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n the mood as i t a p p e a r s . ^ p r o t o t y p e s must s t r i v e  for:  the " p e r f e c t i o n to be a t every  achieved  i n matching  level."  Huxley t e l l s us what i s needed to r e s t o r e the b a l a n c e between  i n s t i n c t and  i d e a l , Wyndham Lewis t r a c e s the h i s t o r i c a l  between s e x u a l  and mental l i f e .  Romance and morals and  of Alexandria  He  separation  comments on the c o n n e c t i o n  between  summarizes h i s argument by d i s t i n g u i s h i n g the  atmosphere o f A l e x a n d r i a  Western  with  T h i s i s the same q u a l i t y which D u r r e l l ' s  7  o n e s e l f t o one's c a p a c i t i e s — If  the  from t h a t o f Athens.  i s explained  The  frenzied sexuality  i n the f o l l o w i n g passage from Time  and  Man: Our c i v i l i z a t i o n i s much more a r t i f i c i a l than t h a t o f Greece o r Rome; and the main cause f o r t h a t i s the c h r i s t i a n ethic. Where Romance e n t e r s the sphere o f morals i s a t the gate o f sex; and n e a r l y a l l the d i a b o l i s m ( h e l p i n g i t s e l f to the t r a d i t i o n a l s a d i c and i n v e r t machinery), s p r i n g i n g up so e a g e r l y i n a p u r i t a n s o i l , can be t r a c e d to a s e x - r o o t . I t i s even extremely easy i n the modern West t o s e x i f y e v e r y t h i n g , i n a way t h a t would have been i m p o s s i b l e i n the greek w o r l d , f o r i n s t a n c e . To see t h i s , you have o n l y to  36  c o n s i d e r t h e f a c t t h a t t h e Athens o f S o c r a t e s was n o t o r i o u s , as h i s d i a l o g u e s w i t n e s s , f o r what i s ( f o r us) the most o b s e s s i n g s o r t o f s e x - c u l t . Y e t i t d i d n o t become the r i v a l o f thought, the l i f e o f t h e i n t e l l e c t and t h a t o f t h e senses c o - e x i s t e d harmoniously; and p h i l o s o p h i c s p e c u l a t i o n , f o r t h e men who d i s p u t e d w i t h S o c r a t e s , was e v i d e n t l y as e x c i t i n g as any o f t h e i r o t h e r o c c u p a t i o n s . The d i a l o g u e s o f P l a t o have n o t an a l e x a n d r i a n e f f l u v i a o f feminine scent; nor do they e r e c t p o i n t e r s on a l l t h e pathways o f t h e mind, waving f r a n t i c a l l y back t o t h e gonadal e c s t a s i e s o f the commencement of l i f e . They are as l o f t i l y detached from the p a r t i c u l a r d e l i g h t s i n f a s h i o n w i t h t h e A t h e n i a n as i t i s p o s s i b l e t o be; the core o f t h e mind was n o t i n v o l v e d , o r even touched, by t h e c l a i m s o f t h a t group o f g l a n d s , i n s p i t e o f the f a c t t h a t t h e puppets who used t o conduct the i n t e l l e c t u a l c o n t e s t s were o f t e n c o n v e n t i o n a l l y e p i c e n e . The p s y c h o l o g i c a l composition o f t h e mind o f such a p h i l o s o p h e r as S o c r a t e s , o r Democritus, showed no b i a s whatever such as you i n e v i t a b l y f i n d i n a Wilde o r a P a t e r — t h a t a l e x a n d r i a n e n e r v a t i o n and s o f t e n i n g o f a l l the male c h a s t i t y o f mind. He c o n t i n u e s  t o p a r a l l e l c h i v a l r o u s l o v e on a man-woman p l a n e t o the  b o y - l o v e o f t h e Greeks, and t o d e c l a r e t h a t " i t i s n o t sex, p r o p e r l y s p e a k i n g and a l l i t s simple and n a t u r a l appeal, at a l l ;  that i s i n question  i t i s t h e d i a b o l i c s l o c k e d up i n t h e e d i f i c e o f 'morals' t h a t  i s the arch-enemy o f t h e a r t i s t .  To circumvent t h a t r i d i c u l o u s b u t  48 formidable  s p i r i t i s a necessary but d i f f i c u l t e n t e r p r i z e . "  Durrell's  Pursewarden- i s a composite f i g u r e who echoes t h e g r e a t l i t e r a r y t h e o r i s t s on sex and morals.  Pursewarden owes much t o Lawrence, Huxley, and  Lewis, and t h e b a l a n c e o f h i s c h a r a c t e r ,  i n c l u d i n g h i s i n a b i l i t y to  take i t a l l too s e r i o u s l y , belongs t o Lawrence D u r r e l l .  CHAPTER I I I DESTRUCTIVE LOVE  A.  PASSION AND  THE WILL  The d e s t r u c t i v e nature o f p a s s i o n a t e l o v e i s r e p r e s e n t e d i n ways:  by the mental l u s t f o r power and p o s s e s s i o n , and by the p h y s i c a l l y  damaging madness c r e a t e d by o b s e s s i o n a l d e v o t i o n to a b e l o v e d The  two  image.  d e s t r u c t i v e w i l l - t o - p o w e r i s c o n t r a s t e d w i t h the c r e a t i v e a r t i s t i c  will.  D u r r e l l uses E a s t e r n p h i l o s o p h y ,  the h i s t o r y o f c o u r t l y l o v e ,  the C a b a l , and the A l e x a n d r i a n p a s t t o e m b e l l i s h the a c t i v i t i e s o f h i s prototypes. The e x t e n t o f D u r r e l l ' s success  i n evoking  the s t r a n g e l y d e d i c a t e d  l i v e s o f h i s c h a r a c t e r s i s demonstrated by the f a c t t h a t J u s t i n e , l i k e the whores i n the s t r e e t , has  " d e s i r e s b e l o n g i n g not to  but t o remote a n c e s t o r s s p e a k i n g through  themselves,  them" (B_, 324) , which i s  much more ' r e a l ' an i d e a f o r the r e a d e r to a c c e p t than her a c t u a l background are l i k e  (a poor Jewish  g i r l o f the q u a r t i e r ) .  J u s t i n e and Nessim  " s a i n t s p r a c t i c i n g the c h i l l y a r t o f seminal stoppage i n  o r d e r the more c l e a r l y to r e c o g n i z e themselves"  (M, 557).  This notion  o f f e c u n d a t i o n o f the mind r e f e r s to Nessim's f e e l i n g t h a t J u s t i n e d e s i r e s to "fecundate" h i s a c t i o n s and a l s o a p p l i e s to Narouz' d i s c o v e r y o f h i s v o c a t i o n as a p r e a c h e r  (M, 491).  The  gratuitous increase i n  38.:  mental o r v i s i o n a r y power i n t h i s  ' r e l i g i o u s ' aspect of love  a d e s c r i p t i o n o f the a s e x u a l g e r m i n a t i o n by which p l a n t l i f e  resembles reproduces,  and makes sex t r u l y a " p s y c h i c a c t " and a form o f m i r r o r - w o r s h i p . T h i s mental f e c u n d a t i o n i s r e l a t e d t o the machinery o f reason; p o w e r - l u s t masquerading as p a s s i o n a t e l o v e .  a  J u s t i n e and Nessim's p a c t  r e s u l t s i n d e d i c a t i o n t o a cause i n the p s e u d o - r e l i g i o u s sense, a s p u r i o u s l i b e r a t i o n o f s e l f i n the realm o f a c t i o n . r e l i g i o u s i n the way of  courtly love:  an i d e a l .  I use the  de Rougemont employs i t i n d e s c r i b i n g the  a v o l u n t a r y worship  and term  religion  and v a s s a l a g e f o r the sake o f  Rougemont's g e n e r a l e x p o s i t i o n o f l o v e i n Love i n the Western  World and Love D e c l a r e d shares c e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w i t h c o n s p i r a c y most n o t a b l y the l i e s upon which l o v e and c o n s p i r a c y feed, and s e c r e c y demanded by Eros i f i t i s t o t h r i v e . "fecund s i l e n c e s " for  (M, 581)  w i t h Nessim l e a v e him  free to a c t .  action.  the  D u r r e l l r e f e r s t o the  o f the r o y a l game o f chess —  the b r e e d i n g ground o f reasoned  —  The  another metaphor  s e c r e t s J u s t i n e shares  R e v e a l i n g to each o t h e r the naked  power, "the e l e c t r i c c u r r e n t " (M, 490)  which l i e s under the d a i l y  facade o f p e r s o n a l i t y , c o n f e r s a k i n d o f h o l i n e s s on c o n s p i r a t o r s and desert fathers alike;  a c o n f i d e n c e i n t h e i r powers which i s l i t t l e  than the d e l u s i v e s e c u r i t y of shared p e r c e p t i o n c r e a t e d by shared Narouz sees Taor's v i s i o n s and she h i s ; Mountolive L e i l a ' s eyes. of  Pursewarden sees f o r L i z a .  sees Egypt  more desire.  with  In t h i s c o n t e x t , the  episode  the Magzub and the d e s c r i p t i o n s o f d e r v i s h e s and t h e i r powers o f  mental and p h y s i c a l c o n t r o l p a r a l l e l the c o n d i t i o n s under which the i n t r i g u e r s i n l o v e and p o l i t i c s o p e r a t e . l o o k o f innocence life "  (M,  556).  J u s t i n e has  "the  brilliant  which comes o n l y w i t h c o n v e r s i o n to a r e l i g i o u s way  of  39  The important difference between the manner i n which Justine and Nessim nourish each other's minds and the way  i n 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 w i l l , by desires joined at the waist"  (M, 560) , and a far  deeper l e v e l of the w i l l ; not the dry and c a l c u l a t i n g will-to-death, but the w i l l - t o - l i f e , the true a r t i s t i c w i l l .  I t i s inevitable that the  description of these two d i f f e r e n t universes of f e e l i n g should be so similar.  I t i s necessary  to expose the point which Durrell i s making:  that we labour against our r e a l c r e a t i v i t y and the "poetic  consciousness,  and at the moment at which a person recognizes this fact, as Nessim does, a b a t t l e ensues between the i n t e l l e c t and the emotions.  Nessim  i s trapped between love and duty, with only the f r a i l excuses of the a l t e r ego to save him from confronting an insoluble c r i s i s and the destruction of e i t h e r himself or h i s brother.  Nessim understands what  T r i l l i n g c a l l s "the offer of l i f e " : And then i t slowly came upon him that i n a paradoxical sort of way Narouz was right i n h i s desire to inflame the sleeping w i l l — for he saw the world, not so much as a p o l i t i c a l chessboard but as a pulse beating within a greater w i l l which only the poetry of the psalms could invoke and body forth. To awaken not merely the impulses of the forebrain with i t s limited formulations, but the sleeping beauty underneath — the poetic consciousness which lay, c o i l e d l i k e a spring, i n the heart of everyone. (M, 578-9) Nessim's experience i s the reverse of the one which brings Darley's a l t e r ego into play when he rescues Clea at the end of The  Quartet.  In a perfect display of Durrellian paradoxical l o g i c , Narouz the  man  of action discovers h i s a l t e r ego as a poet and Darley the s t r i v i n g poet finds his a l t e r ego as a man  of action.  40  The episode which d e s c r i b e s Nessim's sudden awareness o f " p o e t i c c o n s c i o u s n e s s " i s r e m i n i s c e n t i n i t s t e r m i n o l o g y o f D. H. Lawrence's "dark gods."  But i n the c o n t e x t o f D u r r e l l ' s work and h i s i n t e r e s t  i n G n o s t i c i s m , i t expresses t h e l y r i c a l a s p e c t o f g n o s i s ; t h e u n v e i l i n g o f t h e shadow o r hidden s i d e o f e x p e r i e n c e d e n i e d by t h e c o n s c i o u s mind. In t h e Lyons and A n t r i m i n t e r v i e w D u r r e l l expands on the h i s t o r i c a l p r e s s u r e o f t h e Church, which t r i e d t o remove t h e h e r e t i c a l , a p o c a l y p t i c s i d e o f C h r i s t i a n i t y , although i t c o n t i n u e d t o r e c u r " a n a c h r o n i s t i c a l l y " through the G n o s t i c s and o t h e r C h r i s t i a n m y s t i c s , such as E c k h a r t and Ruysbroeck.  D u r r e l l compares the "toughness"  o f t h e I n q u i s i t i o n t o the  r i g o r o f Communism today, and c o n t i n u e s : I f you mention the word "humanity" o r "happiness" you a r e committing a t h e o l o g i c a l s i n . And so from C o p t i c times onwards, when t h e church s p l i t , the source o f the s p l i t i n Byzantium was "keep these bloody m y s t i c s out." They wanted t o keep t h e m y s t i c s o u t o f the church l i k e P l a t o ^ wanted t h e poets o u t o f t h e i d e a l s t a t e . They make i t u n s t a b l e . The most b a s i c c h a r a c t e r d i f f e r e n c e s i n The Q u a r t e t , the most p o l a r a n t i t h e s i s o f p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and mental between Nessim and Narouz. to l i f e ;  They symbolize  attitudes,  exists  the t o t a l s p l i t i n response  one c o l d and w i l l e d through the mind, t h e o t h e r a matter o f  d i r e c t i n t u i t i v e response.  T h i s d u a l i s m i s c r u c i a l t o t h e l o v e theme  i n The Q u a r t e t , and j o i n s t h e h i s t o r i c a l o f t h e modern p l o t .  r e f e r e n c e s t o the c i r c u m s t a n c e s  The Nessim-Narouz d i v i s i o n i s t h e b e s t  o f d e s i r e s and motives  illustration  completely d i v o r c e d from, t h e i l l u s i o n o f p e r s o n a l i t y  t h a t "necessary i l l u s i o n i f we a r e t o l o v e I " are always uncomfortable  (B_, 210). The b r o t h e r s  i n each o t h e r ' s presence  the i n n e r d i v i s i o n between them.  and t h i s  reflects  Only c o n v e n t i o n and f a m i l y r e s p e c t  hold the established l i m i t s o f t h e i r p e r s o n a l i t i e s i n t a c t .  Narouz  —  41  does not share the modern wish to f l e e from " i n t o l e r a b l e temporal c o n d i t i o n s " which Nessim agonizes o v e r i n the g r e a t h i s t o r i c a l r e t r o s p e c t i v e in Justine.  Nessim can empathize w i t h  i n Cavafy's "The  the h o p e l e s s s t a g n a t i o n  C i t y " ; he a l s o knows t h a t he  the command o f P l o t i n u s :  i s incapable  "withdraw i n t o y o u r s e l f and  modern man. instincts.  Narouz, the d e s e r t  o f obeying  look"  Nessim, the banker i n h i s s t e e l and g l a s s o f f i c e , i s the  r a t h e r than  subconscious.  148).  farmer, i s the p r i m i t i v e d r i v e n by  his  their  characters.  D u r r e l l i s i n t e r e s t e d i n gnosis r e s t r i c t i o n s on p s y c h i c  (J,  completely  L i k e m o r a l i t y p l a y f i g u r e s , they are symbols o f  governing passions  expressed  freedom and  as a method o f f i g h t i n g moral an honest way  of looking at  Perhaps i n f l u e n c e d by de Rougemont, he  the  also alludes to  c o u r t l y l o v e as a h e r e t i c a l r e l i g i o n and  a r e f i n i n g f o r c e i n the  Church-bound f e u d a l w o r l d .  P r i n c e o f Darkness i s not  Although The  a  coherent work o f a r t , i t r e v e a l s the w r i t e r ' s i n t e r e s t i n h e r e t i c a l religious beliefs.  The  n o v e l i s t S u t c l i f f e , w i t h h i s major theme o f  l o v e , i s another v e r s i o n o f the p r o f e s s i o n a l D u r r e l l . c h a r a c t e r s , who and Bruce. and  "succeed i n r u n n i n g  away w i t h the a u t h o r , " are P i e r s  P i e r s i s the complete romantic and  Bruce the s c i e n t i f i c and  a p r a c t i s i n g Gnostic  s k e p t i c s i d e o f the w r i t e r .  i n t e r e s t i n g to note A n a i s Nin's a n a l y s i s o f D u r r e l l : without f e e l i n g , impersonally. I t h i n k he he  i s a romantic s e e k i n g  i s a p o e t and  the way  a p a i n t e r , and  Henry does.  f e e l i n g s as I  do."^  Among S u t c l i f f e ' s  But  "He  Here i t i s himself  t h e r e i s something e l s e  to r e p u d i a t e  or deny t h i s .  writes  there. I think  t h a t he w i l l never open human b e i n g s i n  But he w i l l n o t go i n t o them e i t h e r , i n t o t h e i r  42  In The Prince of Darkness Piers explains to Bruce the importance of Gnosticism, and relates i t to Communism and the Inquisition i n words which p a r a l l e l Durrell's remarks i n the Lyons and Antrim interview: But this b e l i e f throws into r e l i e f every form of heresy, every form of chivalrous dissent from the great l i e which the Church would have us l i v e by. You w i l l find l i t t l e fragments of this basic refusal to sign the confession (to use modern Russian terms) i n so many places that i t i s quite bewildering — . . . But what about the Courts of Love and t h e i r gradual extinction? The love the troubadours e x t o l l e d made orthodoxy very thoughtful — i n p a r t i c u l a r because i t posited a new freedom for the woman, and a new role as a Muse and r e f i n e r of the coarser male s p i r i t . This was not . to be relished by people who f e l t happier within the iron truss of the Inquisition . . . . 5 1  If there i s one generalization that can be made about the women of The Quartet i t i s that they are refiners and muses. a p r o s t i t u t e refines.  Even Melissa as  Her n o b i l i t y and honesty deny Darley and Pursewarden  the luxury of the p i t y they wish to f e e l for her and forces them to confront themselves.  Deprived of Justine, Nessim becomes an obese  parody of a Levantine businessman. doubt.  About Clea and Liza there i s no  They form the Light and Dark halves of an imaginative p o r t r a i t  of the t o t a l Muse. is Liza.  Clea's only f a u l t according to Pursewarden i s that her beauty  i s too absolute otherwise  Clea i s a version of the courtly love heroine, as  (C, 771).  Darley says that she i s "too noble to love  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 a b i l i t y to discriminate between love and the physical presence of the lover i s 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 s e l f - l o v e she lacks.  43  She  uses h e r body o n l y to serve the cause which i s h e r mental p a s s i o n .  In a f l o u r i s h o f language D u r r e l l d e s c r i b e s the A l e x a n d r i a where body and mind f u n c t i o n independently from the monotony o f l i f e , to  meet on e q u a l  terms:  a p l a c e where a s c e t i s m and p r o s t i t u t i o n seem  " I t was  s e c l u s i o n among the y e l l o w Alexandria, pleasures  o f each o t h e r and l o v e i s an escape  the deep f o r g e t f u l n e s s o f p a r t u r i t i o n , compounded o f p h y s i c a l  taken without  aversion"  but not s u s t a i n i n g .  a r t i c l e on D u r r e l l ' s G n o s t i c i s m , one's i m a g i n a t i o n  ( J , 153).  D u r r e l l ' s use o f G n o s t i c d o c t r i n e as a  surface decoration, suggestive  intones:  John A r t h o s ,  " I t i s one  in his  thing to l e t  e x p l o r e a system o f thought, and another to square i t  w i t h one's commitments."  He b e l i e v e s the s o u l o f D u r r e l l ' s A l e x a n d r i a  o n l y the mask o f the author's  lessly  they o f f e r e d i n t h e i r monotonous  f l a r e s , but l i k e the t r u e i n h a b i t a n t s o f  C r i t i c s have d e p r e c a t e d  is  not sex  own  s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s , " d r i v e n remorse-  to disown the demands o f e t h i c s i n o r d e r t o c l a i m a  supernatural  52 and  all-embracing  significance for his isolation."  p r i s o n which D u r r e l l condemns i n The b a r s upon him once more. answered by  The Q u a r t e t ,  d i s p e l the A l e x a n d r i a n obsessive  The  B l a c k Book c l o s e s i t s c r i t i c a l  e t h i c a l complaint  o f Arthos  is ironically  which i s a p a r a b l e about the attempt to  division of l i f e  a n a l y s i s while  The m o r a l i s t i c  i n t o sexual obsession  and  a l s o keeping Judaeo-christian e t h i c s a t  bay.  The i r o n i c moral h i s t o r i a n i n D u r r e l l speaks through Pursewarden, w r i t e s i n the "Notes":  who  Now i f the Jews would o n l y a s s i m i l a t e they would g i v e us a v a l u a b l e l e a d i n the matter o f b r e a k i n g down p u r i t a n i s m everywhere. For they are the l i c e n s e - h o l d e r s o f the c l o s e d system, the e t h i c a l response! Even our absurd food  44 prohibitions and i n h i b i t i o n s are copied from their Melancholy priest-ridden rigamarole about flesh and foul. Aye! We a r t i s t s are not interested i n p o l i c i e s but i n values — this i s our f i e l d of b a t t l e ! (C, 760)  B.  MADNESS AND  THE IMAGE  Involvement i n power struggles, battles of the w i l l and intrigues comprise the external views of destructive passion i n 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 i s the core of inner destructive love.  Durrell  s k i l l f u l l y unites the c l a s s i c a l idea of love as a form of madness with modern psychological views on the subject. Friedman, i n The Alexandria Quartet:  Love for Art's Sake, quotes  the passage from Rank included i n Durrell's A Key to Modern Poetry which serves i n The Quartet as Pursewarden's doctrine of the t r u l y l i b e r a t e d a r t i s t as a personality-creator, divorced from the protection 53 from r e a l l i f e afforded by a r t .  In terms of the love theme, this  protection i s given by the Muse whom the a r t i s t sets up as an image, a controlling visual picture.  One of the s i g n i f i c a n t technical d e t a i l s  in Clea i s the fact that the power of the image i s destroyed and r e a l i z e d for  what i t i s :  a mental conjuration.  Darley r e f l e c t s upon Pursewarden's  saying that one must come to terms with truth at l a s t , and finds i t : . . . nourishing — the,cold spray of a wave which c a r r i e d one always a l i t t l e farther towards s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n . I saw now that my own Justine had indeed been an i l l u s i o n i s t ' s creation, raised upon the faulty armature of misinterpreted words, actions, gestures. Truly there was no blame here; the r e a l c u l p r i t was my love which had invented an image on which to feed. Nor was there any question of dishonesty,  45  f o r the p i c t u r e was c o l o u r e d a f t e r the n e c e s s i t i e s o f the l o v e which i n v e n t e d i t . L o v e r s , l i k e d o c t o r s , c o l o u r i n g an u n p a l a t a b l e medicine to make i t e a s i e r f o r the unwary to swallow! (G, 694) The  e r e c t i o n o f the l o v e - o b j e c t as a romantic image o f p e r f e c t i o n r e s u l t s  i n s e l f - d e l u s i o n and i n h i b i t s s e l f - l o v e and a c t i v e p e r s o n a l i t y - c r e a t i o n o f the type which Rank d e s c r i b e s . Another consequence o f o b s e s s i o n a l l o v e i s the d i s t o r t i o n o f n a t u r a l flow o f time, attended reality.  by l u d i c r o u s mental f a l s i f i c a t i o n s  Narouz' l o v e f o r C l e a and Mountolive's  for L e i l a  the h o r r o r s o f a c h i l d i s h dependence on a l o v e - o b j e c t .  Durrell's which  d e s c r i b e s Narouz' d i s c o v e r y o f " t r u e l o v e " i n the f a c t t h a t he moment i n time.  a f f e c t e d by motion, one can be  But  of  portray  p a r a d o x i c a l i r o n y i s most obvious i n passages such as the one  hate C l e a f o r one  the  could  as Pursewarden says, time i s  pace e a s t o r west can change e v e r y t h i n g ;  a f f e c t e d by a t r i c k o f t h e senses,  whore which Narouz mistakes f o r C l e a ' s .  love  such as the v o i c e o f the Arab In a moment o f y e a r n i n g  s e x u a l r e l e a s e , he purges h i m s e l f o f C l e a ' s image, the mental  and  idealization  o f someone he h a r d l y knew. The most h o r r i f y i n g example o f s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n r e s u l t i n g from the d e i f i c a t i o n o f another p e r s o n i s B a l t h a z a r ' s p a s s i o n It i s ironic Clea)  for  (and a p l a n n e d p a r t o f D a r l e y ' s program o f l e a r n i n g i n  t h a t the c h a r a c t e r s who  o f the t e t r a l o g y s h o u l d use  l e n t t h e i r , names t o the f i r s t two  the same words t o d e s c r i b e the  extremes o f l o v e which ended i n a d i v o r c e from t h e i r way to l i f e ;  Panagotis.  a v i r t u a l s t a t e o f temporary i n s a n i t y .  J u s t i n e experience a l o s s o f the w i l l ;  J u s t i n e because she can no  tortuous  o f g i v i n g meaning  Both B a l t h a z a r  a " d e s i r e to swallow the world."  volumes  and  Both encounter  l o n g e r f u n c t i o n as  the  46  amoral goddess i n h e r f i e l d —  the p o l i t i c a l  the d e s i r e t o swallow t h e w o r l d sore o f l o v e u n t i l i t h e a l e d "  chessboard.  i s equated w i t h  For Balthazar,  the wish " t o d r a i n the  (£, 704). The B a l t h a z a r who thought  h i m s e l f exempt from t h e s u f f e r i n g s o f l o v e has t u r n e d i n t o a man who sees i n t h e " d i r t y , v e n a l and empty" a c t o r Panagotis S e l e u c i a on whom Cavafy based h i s poem" (C_, 704) . maintained  "the personage o f  B a l t h a z a r has n o t  t h e Greek d i v i s i o n between t h e a f f a i r s o f the mind and those  o f t h e body d e s c r i b e d by Wyndham Lewis.  H i s "innate m a s c u l i n i t y o f  Mind" has succumbed t o t h e image o f P a n a g o t i s . D u r r e l l r e t u r n s t o modern psychology and has B a l t h a z a r  describe  h i s s e l f - d e g r a d a t i o n i n terms o f t h e symbols which accompanied i t . examples o f " l o v e based on an e y e - t o o t h , a passion  a d i s g u s t f a t h e r e d by s h o r t s i g h t ,  founded on h a i r y w r i s t s , " and the r e v u l s i o n caused by B a l t h a z a r ' s  own green f i n g e r - s t a l l are c l e a r l y d e r i v e d from Georg Groddeck As D u r r e l l says i n h i s p r e f a c e  (C_, 705) .  t o t h e Book o f the I t , Groddeck's  work i s n o t a v a i l a b l e i n E n g l i s h . evidence  The  literary  But t h e Book o f the I t g i v e s ample  t h a t what c a p t i v a t e d Groddeck was " s y m b o l i z a t i o n . "  He w r i t e s :  The symbol was t h e v e r y f i r s t t h i n g I l e a r n e d i n t h e whole f i e l d o f a n a l y t i c a l knowledge, and i t has s i n c e never l o s t i t s importance t o me. A l o n g , l o n g road o f f o u r t e e n y e a r s now l i e s b e h i n d me, and i f I t r y t o look back upon i t , i t i s f u l l o f strange d i s c o v e r i e s o f symbolism, r i c h l y v a r i e d and shot through w i t h changing c o l o r s . . . . That mental l i f e i s one continuous s y m b o l i z a t i o n was t o me so o b v i o u s t h a t I i m p a t i e n t l y pushed a s i d e t h e masses o f new thoughts and f e e l i n g s — new t o me, a t l e a s t — t h a t arose i n me, and i n mad haste pursued t h e working o f s y m b o l i z a t i o n i n . organic disease. And t h i s working was, t o me, magical.->4 * The  r e l a t i o n t o psychology becomes even c l e a r e r when, a f t e r an enumeration  o f inanimate o b j e c t s which induce to ask what one can say o f t h i s  l o v e o r hate, B a l t h a z a r  continues  "very approximate s c i e n c e which has  47  carelessly overflowed into anthropology other?  on one side, theology on the  There i s much they do not know as yet:  for instance that one  kneels i n church because one kneels to enter a woman, or that circumcision i s derived from the c l i p p i n g of the vine, without which i t w i l l run to leaf and produce no f r u i t ! "  (C, 706). He i s commenting on the vast  number of symbols and associations which have yet to be o r g a n i c a l l y related to l i f e .  But the fact remains for him, (in exactly the same  words i n which Melissa expressed that with Panagotis  the pain of separation from Darley),  gone, "everything i n nature disappeared."  The  mirror which i s l i f e i s only the surface upon which the symbols of the It reflect.  And this absolute void i n nature caused by the loss of the  beloved image demonstrates Durrell's reversal of Descartes: therefore I can love.""*"'  "I am,  Darley reacts to Melissa's statement with the  same non-understanding of t h i s f i r s t proposition with which Clea fends off  the unwanted obsession of Narouz —  "But nobody has the right to  occupy such a place i n another's l i f e , nobody.'" (B, 301). Balthazar has been trapped by the Absolute of Love while trying to maintain the most extreme form of the "human compromise" — for  which Alexandria i s famous —  the one  the median between the two points of  extreme sensuality and i n t e l l e c t u a l asceticism.  He realizes that he  has not succeeded i n being true to e i t h e r pole; i n fact love and i n t e l l e c t have undermined each other.  Melissa's completely natural q u a l i t y ,  the best part of her personality, vanishes when Pursewarden t e l l s her some of the secrets o f the world o f i n t e l l e c t and i n t r i g u e .  For a  moment she can play Justine's r o l e , and i t makes the most innocent of creatures ugly and venal, eager to boast of o l d Cohen's importance. I t  48  i s Melissa's lack of vanity, not her lack of w i l l , which makes her innocent.  The appearance of her mirror, a broken fragment, i s the  symbol of this humility and the absence of physical innocence i n a l i f e i n which her body can discharge the debts of a weaker Darley.  Narouz  also has a polarized personality which i s e a s i l y distorted by  new  situations.  On one hand he fights a l l ease and pleasure with d a i l y  hardship and the taming of both land and animals; on the other he kneels at Clea's feet emitting p i t i f u l cries and acknowledging the weakness of h i s love.  The power which makes love a "beast" and a form  of madness i s brought out i n the account of Narouz taming a horse and i n the documentation of Clea's feelings i n the midst of her passion for Justine.  In the case of Narouz: Nothing could f i n a l l y t i r e that powerful body — not even the orgasm he had experienced i n long savage b a t t l e .... His mind was a jumble of sharp stabbing colours and apprehensions — as i f the whole sensory apparatus had melted i n the heat l i k e a colour-box, fusing thought and wish and desire. He was light-headed with joy and f e l t as unsubstantial as a rainbow. (B, 270)  His fear that Clea i s Nessim's intended transforms e l a t i o n into i t s opposite:  this f e e l i n g of  "Narouz f e l t himself turned to ice —  a figure i n a coat of mail . . . ."  to  The aetiology of love and madness  (the passage which "could serve not only for Clea but indeed for a l l of us"), describes changes i n the nature of r e a l i t y caused by a nervous breakdown due to love experienced by one of Balthazar's patients: Walking towards the studio she would suddenly f e e l h e r s e l f become breathlessly i n s u b s t a n t i a l , as i f she were a figure painted on canvas. Her breathing became p a i n f u l . Then a f t e r a moment she was overtaken by a f e e l i n g of happiness and well-being so intense that she seemed to have become weightless . . . . This was i t s e l f succeeded by other disagreeable sensations — as of a hot clamp round her  49  s k u l l , pressing i t , of the beating of wings i n her ears. Half-dreaming i n bed, suddenly horns rammed downwards into her brain, impaling her mind; i n a brazen red glare she saw the bloodshot eyes of the mithraic animal. (B_, 242) The fusing of sensation, the f e e l i n g of being simply an image on canvas r e f l e c t s the complete loss o f i d e n t i t y experienced by a mind i n the grasp of passion.  Darley, the observer i n The Quartet, shares i n the  battle o f the mind i n love, but h i s detachment and ambivalence  and the  protection of art reserve f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n for Clea, when the actual war joins the metaphorical one.  CHAPTER IV CHARACTERS  Although D u r r e l l c o n s i d e r s Pursewarden a h i g h l y s u c c e s s f u l c h a r a c t e r , most c r i t i c s  and f r i e n d s  ( i n c l u d i n g Henry M i l l e r ) d i s a g r e e .  Pursewarden's  b r u t a l honesty and l o y a l t y to the l i f e o f h i s i m a g i n a t i o n i s most i m p r e s s i v e when i t i s c o n t r a s t e d w i t h D a r l e y ' s i n a b i l i t y  to organize  the s e l f which i s "only a huge, d i s o r g a n i z e d and s h a p e l e s s s o c i e t y o f l u s t s and impulses."  Darley i s a model o f t h e s t r u g g l e f o r s e l f - p o s s e s s i o n .  Pursewarden i s a model o f t h e a t t a i n m e n t  of self-liberation.  acts out the l i f e o f h i s imagination i n the present.  Pursewarden  Darley i s a s l a v e  to  the p a s t l i f e o f h i s i m a g i n a t i o n .  A l l o t h e r major c h a r a c t e r s f u n c t i o n  in  r e l a t i o n t o these two f i g u r e s and must be c o n s i d e r e d i n c o n j u n c t i o n  w i t h them.  A.  Darley Darley never succeeds i n o r g a n i z i n g h i s " s o c i e t y " o f c o n f l i c t i n g  d e s i r e s u n t i l t h e a p o c a l y p t i c w o r l d o f A l e x a n d r i a a t war lends a new meaning t o s u r v i v a l .  Images o f b a t t l e , b o t h p e r s o n a l and c u l t u r a l ,  are a c o n s t a n t f e a t u r e o f D u r r e l l ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f peace-time A l e x a n d r i a . The enemies are t h e g r e a t Romantic l i e s :  the myth o f the p e r f e c t match,  the image o f t h e love-goddess, and t h e j o y o f l o s i n g o n e s e l f i n p a s s i o n .  - 50 -  51  The City i s not only a place of power and danger, but also a b a t t l e f i e l d , from which a person must be exceptionally strong to escape "heart-whole" a f t e r he has learned h i s lesson about fortune and love — accept what T r i l l i n g terms "the o f f e r of l i f e . " Abandons Antony" (J_, 202)  expresses  before he can  Cavafy's "The  God  this destructive power which must  be responded to with a pride and resignation b e f i t t i n g the opponent, the City.  Darley thinks of h i s own experience i n Alexandria, s t a r t i n g  "before I ever knew Melissa and ending somewhere soon i n an i d l e pragmatic death i n a c i t y to which I did not belong" as a story something already part of history and foredoomed. meditation:  —  He continues h i s  "I walked across this mirage of narrow i n t e r s e c t i n g a l l e y s  as one might walk across a b a t t l e f i e l d which had swallowed up a l l the friends of one's youth; yet I could not help i n delighting at every scent and sound —  a survivor's delight" (J_, 154).  In Justine the b a t t l e i s fought p r i m a r i l y i n order to escape the temptations  of the body, the questioning of the sex act, and the pressure  of fear and g u i l t .  Darley feels l i k e a survivor when he thinks he has  i d e n t i f i e d the hunchbacked lover of the whore, who  jumped  up l i k e  "someone r i s i n g i n a crowded tram to surrender h i s place to a inutile"" de l a guerre"  (J, 152).  Later Balthazar's I n t e r l i n e a r w i l l change  Darley's mind and make him consider more closely the idea of quenching t h i r s t for the beloved through a hired body.  But at t h i s point he  accepts the ludicrous and tragic horror of the sex act and the p o s i t i o n of the p a r t i c i p a n t s ; thereby surviving the f i r s t snare of the "love beast." now.  He believes that the desires of the flesh cannot destroy him  Like Clea, who p a t i e n t l y awaits the end of the b a t t l e with her  52  own  i n s t i n c t s , Darley has achieved the f i r s t step i n depersonalizing the  sex act.  He considers himself to be "a person already formed who  not be broken" (J, 160).  could  Even i f this wholeness consists of detachment  and naivete, i t comprises his l i b e r t y i n r e l a t i o n to Justine, because she cannot captivate or possess him. of b a t t l e :  Darley defines possession i n terms  "to be passionately at war for the q u a l i t i e s i n one  to contend for the treasures of each other's p e r s o n a l i t i e s "  another  (J_, 161).  Darley i s involved i n the battle for self-possession, but his ambivalence i n h i b i t s any d i r e c t action or control over his own destiny. Like Dick Gregory i n The Black Book, he can only imagine his actions. Gregory describes the problem: my actions.  " A l l my l i f e I have done this —  I have never taken part i n them.  imagined  I t i s the catharsis  of pure action which i s so wounding an absolute to contemplate now."^ A passage i n Balthazar r e f l e c t s the blending of Darley's divided and i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e d attitudes towards good and e v i l , l i f e and death.  Real  l i f e and the l i f e of the imagination are hopelessly confused i n Darley's mind.  While Justine and Darley s i t under the desert sky holding hands,  Justine asks Darley the most commonplace lover's question:  what i s he  thinking?  the Pole  Aloud he t e l l s her to look at the star which was  Star fourteen thousand years ago.  But h i s i n t e r i o r reply i s one of the  few examples of stream-of-consciousness  i n The  Quartet:  What was I thinking? Of a passage i n Proclus which says that Orpheus ruled over the s i l v e r race, meaning those who led a ' s i l v e r ' l i f e ; on Balthazar's mantelpiece presumably among the pipe-cleaners and the Indian woodcarving of monkeys which neither saw, spoke nor heard e v i l , under a magic pentacle from Pythagoras. What was I thinking? The foetus i n i t s waxen wallet, the locust squatting i n the horn of the wheat, an Arab quoting a proverb which reverberated i n the mind. 'The memory of man i s as o l d as misfortune.'  53  The quails from the burst cage spread upon the ground s o f t l y l i k e honey, having no idea of escape. In the Scent Bazaar the flavour of Persian l i l a c . (B, 368) Like Blake's "The Sick Rose," Darley's meditation pictures e v i l  trapped  within nature; while the outer appearance remains good, the three monkeys refuse to look; yet the memory of man  cannot expunge i t , and  dumb animals no longer care to search for freedom because c a p t i v i t y i s sweet.  This l i s t of ideas and sensations represents the inverted  mind, incapable of acting to escape i t s own confines.  Such a mind i s  incapable of r e a l i z i n g love i n the active manner defined by Pursewarden; as a "help-meet" or i n "loving-kindness." own  The passage points to i t s  significance because i t i s placed between two quotations from  Pursewarden:  "'The power of woman i s such' writes Pursewarden 'that a  single kiss can paraphrase the r e a l i t y of a man's l i f e and turn i t . . .'," and "'They looked at each other, aware that there was neither youth nor strength enough between them to prevent t h e i r separation'" (B_, 368). Yet these words occur at a point at which Darley has f e a r f u l l y suggested to Justine that he might have to go and confess t h e i r "love" to Nessim, and she has mockingly r e p l i e d , "You could not do that.  You are an  Anglo-Saxon . . . you couldn't step outside the law l i k e that, could you?"  In this mockery of a love scene, complete with evasions,  lies,  and an i r o n i c glimpse of the Egyptian outlaws against the s i l l y moral authority represented by the Anglo-Saxon race, we see the romance already stripped away.  Only the s p i r i t 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 i n t h e i r detachment.  And the greatest irony of  54  a l l i s contained i n Darley's subsequent assertion that he now  sees  them a l l as "members of a c i t y whose actions lay just outside the scope of the p l o t t i n g or conniving s p i r i t :  Alexandrians" (B_, 369) .  Mountolive  w i l l d e t a i l the p l o t t i n g s p i r i t and dispel the i l l u s i o n of unity with the c i t y —  both passional and h i s t o r i c a l .  Because i t i s Darley's voice which does the major narration throughout most of The Quartet we tend to forget that at l a s t he i s an innocent, for he never finds out the truth (as Pursewarden does) about Melissa, or more f a c t u a l l y , about the p o l i t i c a l 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 i n the v i t a l l y important correct analysis of other minds upon which Justine and Nessim depend for s u r v i v a l .  For Darley, the exploration of love and power  i s l i t t l e more than the pastime of an a r t i s t i c mind wandering away from i t s true course and into the realm of c r i t i c i s m and analysis. The objective view given of Darley i n Mountolive i s often contemptuous. Justine c a l l s 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 s t i f f , unimaginative army o f f i c e r .  "These modest B r i t i s h types —  a l l turn out to be Turks secretly?"  do they  Pursewarden asks about Darley.  E a r l i e r he gives a p o r t r a i t of the c l a s s i c B r i t i s h 'Turk':  "Well, since  the Army discovered that imagination i s a major factor i n producing cowardice they have trained the Maskeleyne breed i n the virtues of  55  counter-imagination:  a sort of amnesia which i s almost Turkish.  The  contempt for death has been turned into a contempt for l i f e and t h i s type of man  accepts l i f e only on his own  terms" (M, 475).  Although this i s  an exaggeratedly harsh judgment when applied to Darley, i t must be acknowledged that i n h i s f a c t - f i n d i n g attempts to conquer h i s imagination and search f o r truth he i s a minor version of the agent of counterimagination.  Instead of allowing himself to receive impressions  react upon them naturally, he interrogates h i s feelings and them —  and  rearranges  not i n the order of memory, but i n the order i n which they f i t  into the merely personal significance which events acquired i n h i s mind. Thus i n Clea he i s completely surprised by h i s new  f e e l i n g of revulsion  towards Justine; he can barely suppress the temptation to "embrace her once more i n order to explore this engrossing and inexplicable novelty of  f e e l i n g further!" (C_, 695).  He asks himself i f i t i s possible that  "a few items of information merely, facts l i k e sand t r i c k l i n g into the hour-glass of the mind, had irrevocably altered the image's q u a l i t i e s . . . ." Even at this late stage 'Darley cannot reconcile the r e a l and the remembered. He reveals h i s need to avoid a merely i n t e l l e c t u a l c u r i o s i t y and recover the l o s t innocence of the true s t o r y - t e l l e r by writing "Once upon a time." of new  He i s no longer t e l l i n g a story, but merely analyzing the impact facts upon the image.  The f i c t i v e quality of his own  former  biography i s exposed, but at the same time h i s desire to write and h i s confidence i n his a b i l i t y to become a writer fade with "the impulse to confide i n the world"  (C_, 839).  Here Darley's conception of l i t e r a r y  i n s p i r a t i o n i s c h i l d i s h l y innocent and s u p e r f i c i a l , as well as highly Romantic (in the sense of "the dialogue of the mind with i t s e l f " ) .  Durrell  56  i s i n favour of a style which reaches beyond the confessional. In contrast with the confessional mode of Darley and Arnauti, Pursewarden's savage compartmentalization of h i s private agonies does seem " C l a s s i c a l . "  B.  Pursewarden —  and Relation to Other Characters  Pursewarden's exaltation as an a r t i s t and man of l e t t e r s , Scobie's attainment of sainthood, Balthazar's reinstatement i n his c l i n i c ,  and  the apotheosis of Romantic Love i n the case of Amaril and Semira, have 57 been noted as examples of the "regeneration" c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Clea. The most obvious common denominator between these regenerations i s that what has been of private and personal value, given as a confidence or as p r i v i l e g e d 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 f i r s t three volumes.  In Durrell's own philosophic terminology,  depersona-  l i z a t i o n means "preservation i n essence" and an entry into the freedom of the heraldic universe.  Pursewarden cannot be r e c a l l e d i n physical  d e t a i l and preserved i n a private way has become. a brothel.  from history, whose property he  Even h i s room at the "Mount Vulture" has been changed into With h i s private l e t t e r s , which remain unknown to a l l but  L i z a , Mountolive and Darley, the private Pursewarden disappears, leaving only his public testament to survive him  (including the "Conversations with  Brother Ass"). Even Henry M i l l e r , who eulogized The Quartet, f a i l e d to f i n d something which Durrell had expressly asked him to note. correspondence,  From the  i t i s obvious that this special point dear to the author  57  r e l a t e s t o Pursewarden.  M i l l e r w r i t e s , "What I missed, by o b t u s i t y ,  no doubt, was what you t o l d me t o look f o r . o f Pursewarden."  Unless  i t was those  A f t e r a c r i t i c i s m o f Pursewarden as a c h a r a c t e r , and  a d i g r e s s i o n he r e t u r n s t o t h e s u b j e c t :  "To come back t o Pursewarden.  Maybe I s h o u l d r e r e a d a l l f o u r books and see a f r e s h . missed t h e b o a t somewhere." reason  notes  No doubt I've  M i l l e r a l s o asks i f t h e r e i s a s p e c i a l  f o r D u r r e l l ' s h a b i t o f "making c h a r a c t e r s speak through exchange 58  of l e t t e r s . " process  I make no c l a i m t o f i n d t h a t M i l l e r c o u l d not, b u t t h e  which r e p e a t s  experience  i t s e l f i s the t r a n s m u t a t i o n  of life  and p e r s o n a l  i n t o l i t e r a t u r e , o r i n t o l o v e i n s i l e n c e , i n t h e dimension  o f t h e dream-world. When C l e a remarks near t h e b e g i n n i n g  o f J u s t i n e , "There a r e o n l y  t h r e e t h i n g s t o be done w i t h a woman . . . .  You can l o v e h e r , s u f f e r  for  i s a c h i e v i n g none o f these  h e r , o r t u r n h e r i n t o l i t e r a t u r e , " Darley  g o a l s , b u t Pursewarden i s l i v i n g o u t a l l t h r e e , although has n o t y e t been i n t r o d u c e d t o him.  t h e reader  Pursewarden l o v e s and s u f f e r s  s i l e n t l y ; h i s v o i c e i s h e a r d o n l y i n l i t e r a r y works o r i n i r o n i c  statements.  A r n a u t i , whom D a r l e y s t u d i e s i n J u s t i n e , has the mania t o e x p l a i n , the r a t i o n a l d i s e a s e which Pursewarden opposes w i t h h i s l i f e art.  and h i s  Only a d i r e c t v i s i o n o f h i s own attachment t o t h e r a t i o n a l de-Sadian  i l l n e s s o f t h e European mind, an a r r i v a l a t Pursewarden's s t a t e , can t r u l y b r i n g Darley o u t o f A r n a u t i ' s world "For C l e a t o o , " w r i t e s D a r l e y , seemed s h a l l o w is  and i n t o Pursewarden's.  "the l i t t l e book o f A r n a u t i ' s upon J u s t i n e  and i n f e c t e d by t h e d e s i r e t o e x p l a i n e v e r y t h i n g . "  o u r d i s e a s e ' she s a i d  "'It  'to want t o c o n t a i n e v e r y t h i n g w i t h i n t h e frame  o f r e f e r e n c e o f a psychology, a p h i l o s o p h y ' "  (J_, 6 8 ) .  The p a r t i c u l a r  58  reference  i s to J u s t i n e , who  i s uncontainable,  people she verges on the Goddess."  J u s t i n e f a i l s as a l o v e r i n the  o f D a r l e y , but r e t a i n s h e r amoral and and  regeneration  characters.  because, " L i k e a l l amoral  goddess-like  o f a type which i s i m p o s s i b l e  Clea's  eyes  c a p a c i t y f o r change  f o r any  o f the more p r o s a i c  d e s c r i p t i o n o f J u s t i n e ' s s e d u c t i o n o f Memlik  contains  the t r u e q u a l i t y o f the immoral and p r i m i t i v e goddess, p l a y i n g a dangerous w o r l d - a f f e c t i n g game w i t h transcendent she  and  the human d e s i r e s .  farcical.  The  p o r t r a i t i s both  J u s t i n e i s c l a s s i c a l i n the sense t h a t  does not i s o l a t e h e r s e l f and  submit t o the i n n e r p r i v a t e l i f e  the romantic, but uses the e x t e r n a l w o r l d to her b e n e f i t . J u s t i n e are compared to a minor Antony and  Cleopatra  the p r o t a g o n i s t h e r s e l f , l i k e C l e o p a t r a , may  of  Arnauti  i n Justine,  and  and  s h r i n k i n the view o f  o r d i n a r y m o r a l i t y to the dimensions o f a scheming and  empty-headed  temptress, y e t r e t a i n a s t a t u r e above and beyond what B a l t h a z a r  terms  an i n t e l l e c t u a l tendency t o " i s o l a t e a moral q u a l i t y i n the f r e e a c t . " Balthazar  d e s c r i b e s the u l t i m a t e d e p e r s o n a l i z a t i o n i n the very  depths  o f the subconscious when he  continues:  i n s t r u c t e d than o n e s e l f has  the added d e l i c i o u s t h r i l l which comes  from the consciousness mud God.  " A l l love-making t o one  o f p e r v e r t i n g , o f p u l l i n g them down i n t o the  from which p a s s i o n s  rise —  t o g e t h e r w i t h poems and  theories  of  I t i s w i s e r perhaps not to make a judgement!' (B, 244) . J u s t i n e and  Pursewarden form n e g a t i v e s ,  the matched " r i g h t " p a i r .  or r e v e r s e d  shadows o f  They remain b a s i c a l l y unchanged through  the f o u r volumes, a l t h o u g h t h e i r images i n the eyes o f o t h e r s constantly s h i f t i n g . but  less  are  Both have p e r s o n a l i t i e s which adapt to s i t u a t i o n s ,  remain amorphous i n t h e i r o u t l i n e s .  They r e f u s e to compromise,  ,59  to s o l i d i f y and accept the "arbitration  of time."  Justine reports  that Pursewarden told her that her sense of g u i l t was atrophied (C_, 695) . Only the reader discovers that Pursewarden's g i f t 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 l i f e "  (M, 528).  Pursewarden admires Justine's lack of g u i l t and i s contemptuous of the neuroses which mar her character. Justine, l i k e the c l a s s i c a l type, sustains herself on experience but i s not enriched or enlightened by i t ; Pursewarden envies her the freedom from the romantic sense of g u i l t and the need to grow and learn to know oneself through experience. " C i t i e s , 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 i t might be hard to think of Justine and Pursewarden as "happy," i t i s the i r o n i c sense of the paradoxical logic of love, the Laughter, that these characters alone can share.  Justine t e l l s Darley how she  laughed when she discovered the equipment with which.every Copt proposes i n Narouz' closet, ready to send to Clea. query she r e p l i e s ,  To Darley's naturally surprised  "Yes, laughed u n t i l the tears ran down my cheeks.  But I was r e a l l y laughing a t myself, at you, a t a l l of us.  One stumbles  over i t a t every turn of the road, doesn't one; under every sofa the same corpse, i n every cupboard the same skeleton? laugh?" (C, 698).  What can one do but  60.  The suggestion  that Pursewarden and Justine share something i n  common, and even that both o f them recognize the four volumes. personality.  the fact, echoes through  These two characters l i v e . o u t the i l l u s i o n s of  Their roles are constantly s h i f t i n g , t h e i r masks changing;  they accept the necessity of role-playing which the other only give l i p - s e r v i c e to.  characters  Nessim complains to Justine about the  tiresomeness of acting a part.. not know who I was" (M, 581).  She r e p l i e s , "Sh, Nessim!  Then I should  Both Justine and Pursewarden are l i v i n g  mockeries o f the standard personality, that unitary whole with i t s 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 s t r i c t l y he had no s e l f . "  She mentions Darley saying that  Justine "also says something l i k e t h i s , " but proceeds to dismiss i t as a woman's natural a t t r a c t i o n to a man with plenty of female i n t u i t i o n (C_, 735) .  But there i s a delicate b a t t l e waged between Justine and  Pursewarden to be the "truer pagan."  Justine reports to Nessim that  Pursewarden i s dangerous because, "'He i s somehow coid and clever and self-centred.  Completely amoral —  care i f we died tomorrow.  l i k e an Egyptian!  I cannot reach him'"  He would not deeply  (M, 562).  Yet Pursewarden  i s disgusted by his false compassion for Melissa, and s t i l l t r i e s to purge himself of the remains of puritan conscience hidden by an amoral exterior. With Melissa, i n Mountolive'.s central scene, Pursewarden plays the role of comic drunk and lover u n t i l she inadvertently reaches h i s emotions.  The highest irony i s that Melissa humbly and unknowingly  touches the l i t e r a r y core of Pursewarden's existence —  the love, the  61  muse, and the "story" of h i s own his  mind —  l i f e , which he continually writes i n  instantly transforming the experience  medium of words.  into the  impersonal  His s h i f t i n g outer skin of thought, the inexplicable  acts which comprise h i s daily l i f e , have been stripped away; his "point f a i b l e " l e f t exposed before he has been able to turn i t into l i t e r a t u r e . The predatory Justine, whom Clea compares to an animal digging to f i n d Pursewarden' s secret strength (C_, 735), would understand the psychic shock of t h i s unmasking; the pain of a d i r e c t confrontation with his method of giving meaning to experience. to  Melissa and Nessim are referred  as a "doomed brother and s i s t e r " when they enter a love which i s  "the stepchild of confession and release" (J, 165), and l i k e Pursewarden and L i z a , the f u l l r e a l i z a t i o n of t h e i r selves occurs only i n the historic-mythic past or i n an unattainable future.  I t i s no  wonder  that these characters have so l i t t l e concern for t h e i r 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 i n Mountolive i s one that could best be claimed as the centre of Durrell's love theme; and the most important  i n revealing the "conspiracy of the mind against  i t s e l f " that i s the mode of l i v i n g of the City's exemplars.  Before  Melissa t e l l s h i s fortune, we have the l a s t glimpse of the Pursewarden who has successfully transformed personal f a i l u r e and bitterness against Anglo-Saxon r e s t r i c t i o n s upon the freedom of love into a l i t e r a t u r e of moments captured freshly and immediately.  I t i s here that D u r r e l l uses  the greatest of the City's poetic exemplars, C. P. Cavafy, as the Alexandrian complementary of Pursewarden.  Although this l i n k i s not as c l e a r as  62  the r e l a t i o n of D. H. Lawrence, I believe that i t i s f a i r l y obvious i f this sordid and already " g u i l l o t i n e d " love scene, with i t s d i r t y sheets, decomposing manuscripts and f a i l u r e o f the " b i o l o g i c a l memory" i s compared to the s e t t i n g of one o f Cavafy's love poems; and the way i n which he transformed the f l e e t i n g experience of the body into epigrammatic written memorials i s set side by side with the following description of Pursewarden's method:  "As usual, a t a l e v e l far below the probings  of s e l f - d i s g u s t or humiliation, he was writing, s w i f t l y and smoothly i n his clear mind.  He was covering sheet upon sheet of paper.  For so  many years now he had taken to writing out his l i f e i n his own mind — the l i v i n g and the writing were simultaneous.  He transferred the moment  bodily to paper as i t was l i v e d , warm from the oven, naked and exposed . . .". (M, 530). When Melissa's p a l m i s t r y f o r e t e l l s 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 d i r e c t l y .  He sees Justine  s i t t i n g i n exactly the same pose as Melissa, "holding his hand with sympathy" (M, 532).  His bitterness explodes, but he banishes the  memories which caused i t and reverts to the story of his own l i f e , as a historic-mythic chronicle:  "'Later, i n search of an askesis he  followed the desert fathers to Alexandria, between the two breasts of Melissa. his  to a place between two deserts,  O morosa delectatio.  And he buried  face there among the dunes, covered by her quick h a i r ' " (M, 533).  Instead of preservation of the naked experience, which creates the "heraldic" mode, we get a kind of h i s t o r i c a l s e l f - p i t y , and a kinship with Justine admitted.  Pursewarden's l i f e of unmatched perfection with  63  L i z a c o n s i s t e d o f an e n c h a n t e d - c a s t l e the foremost C a t h a r i s t l a d i e s . skull,  life  o f s t u d y i n g La L i o b a , one  J u s t i n e ' s "Noble S e l f " i s an  "a v i s i t a n t from d i s t a n t mythology"  ( J , 113).  each o t h e r ' s h o p e l e s s  electrified  Like Justine  Nessim, L i z a and Pursewarden are i n c e s t u o u s b r o t h e r and a r i d i t y t o c r e a t e an i d e a l world  sister, of  fulfillment, what  l a c k ; concepts r e s u r r e c t e d from h i s t o r y r a t h e r than l i v i n g  Both g r e a t h e t a e r a e who o f men,  and  incestuous  Alexandria  and  complementing  and by so doing, becoming h a l f - s e l v e s , i d o l a t r o u s l y w o r s h i p p i n g they  of  l i v e through t h e i r involvement i n the  people.  affairs  l o v e have a prominent p l a c e i n the h i s t o r y o f  b u t have been made taboo by  the modern European e t h i c a l  system. D u r r e l l ' s palimpsest scene i n M o u n t o l i v e . present i s s t i l l encounters. is  On  technique  i s shown a t i t s b e s t i n t h i s c e n t r a l  H i s t o r i c a l A l e x a n d r i a as a s p a t i a l r e a l i t y o f  r e c o r d i n g the same s t o r y o f i n c e s t and empty the temporal p l a n e ,  M e l i s s a , who  confronts  h o n e s t l y , succeeds i n w r e s t i n g Pursewarden's s e c r e t from him,  The  artist  would r a t h e r swallow the world  faces h i s c o n f l i c t with  the l i f e o f h i s i m a g i n a t i o n . transmute h i s l i f e  He  life  t h i s passing.  too  where failed.  cannot a c c e p t p i t y or  share  I s o l a t e d i n t h i s manner, he must e i t h e r  feelings.  a r t i s t must l o v i n g l y submit t o the t r a n s i t o r i n e s s o f even  s t r o n g e s t emotional at  love.  than c o n f r o n t i t ,  love  i n t o l i t e r a t u r e or c o n f r o n t the a c t u a l death which  must f o l l o w the death o f h i s The  sexual  Clea's d e c l a r a t i o n t h a t p i t y i n g  the most dangerous form i s r e a l i z e d .  J u s t i n e , who  the  events and t e n d e r l y p r e s e r v e  the  them, w i t h o u t b i t t e r n e s s  Da Capo v o i c e s a r a r e m e d i t a t i o n  (ironically,  b e f o r e h i s impending "death") on h i s f a t h e r ' s a b i l i t y  to "say  just  things  64  so pointed that they engage the attention and memory of others," wishes that he could leave as much behind him a hero i n The Quartet,  (J, 171).  and  I f there i s  i t must be Pursewarden, and Da Capo's remarks  follow a discussion of Pursewarden's novels i n which Capodistria sees old Parr the sensualist, with his apology that his s k i r t - f e v e r i s r e a l l y beauty-hunger, as a version of himself.  Da Capo feels that the astonishing  fact about Pursewarden's novels i s that "he presents a series of s p i r i t u a l problems as i f they were commonplaces and i l l u s t r a t e s them with his characters."  This i s the technique which Durrell uses to engage attention  and make The Quartet a kind of open-ended p a r t i a l biography, not only of the characters within i t , but of Everyman.  Cavafy has attained the  l e v e l of a sort of d i v i n i t y i n this world of verbal preservation of personal emotion and self-discovery. was  Like Pursewarden, whose "irony  r e a l l y tenderness turned inside out l i k e a glove"- (C_, 791) , and  Da Capo's father, of whom i t seems possible that "his ironies a wounded s p i r i t "  concealed  (J_, 171) , Cavafy had "an exquisite balance of irony  and tenderness . . . "  (J_, 79).  Balthazar feels that Cavafy was  "catching  every minute as i t flew and turning i t upside down to expose i t s happy side.  He was  r e a l l y using himself up, his inner s e l f , i n l i v i n g . "  Again, this i s the function of the Romantic a r t i s t according to Rank. The C l a s s i c a l a r t i s t uses material from the external world, but the true romantic derives his i n s p i r a t i o n almost e n t i r e l y from within. Durrell explores the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between the notions of C l a s s i c a l and Romantic i n The Quartet as well as the d i s t i n c t i o n between Eros and Agape.  Pursewarden points to a p a r a l l e l between the body-mind d i v i s i o n ,  the departure  of ethics from i t s Greek separation from the pleasures  65  of  the f l e s h , and the development o f the Western n o v e l , which  departs  from the f r e e f a n t a s y o f the A r a b i a n N i g h t s t a l e s and the b a l a n c e d mixture to  o f sex and romance c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f Chaucer.  r e s t o r e the "wholy bloody  range"  (C,  755).  Pursewarden wants  There are normal e x t e r n a l  b a r r i e r s t o romance i n the Q u a r t e t , such as the p o v e r t y which c o n d i t i o n s Melissa's l i f e ,  but the b a s i c c o n f l i c t i s r e f l e c t e d i n the case o f the  b l i n d c h i l d which f i n a l l y s e p a r a t e d L i z a and Pursewarden through and g u i l t o v e r a h e r e d i t a r y d e f e c t which they f e l t was b r e a c h i n g the i n c e s t taboo.  Denis  fear  a result of  de Rougemont q u e s t i o n s the  almost  d i a b o l i c i n s i s t e n c e o f t h e Western l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n o f l o v e upon a u n i t y which i g n o r e s the d i v e r s i t y o f l i f e to  p l e a s e author and reader?  itself:  I t i s a l l one;  l o v e which prompts the l o v e r s i n t h e i r inmost  "Can  i t be i n o r d e r  f o r the demon o f c o u r t l y s e l v e s to the d e v i c e s  t h a t are t h e cause o f t h e i r p a i n i s the v e r y demon o f the n o v e l as i n the West l i k e i t t o b e . " ^  we  The European E r o s , w i t h i t s demand f o r  a c o n d i t i o n i n which " a b s o l u t e u n i t y must be the n e g a t i o n o f the p r e s e n t human b e i n g i n h i s s u f f e r i n g m u l t i p l i c i t y " a l l o w s no lovers.  Pursewarden a s s e r t s t h a t the e p i c romances o f Chaucer are  type o f l i t e r a t u r e he would l i k e t o produce, of  fulfillment for  the modern audience  b u t t h a t g i v e n the  the  sophistication  t h i s i s impossible.  Robert S c h o l e s p o i n t s out, i n The F a b u l a t o r s , t h a t D u r r e l l i s f o l l o w i n g an A l e x a n d r i a n r o m a n t i c - e p i c t r a d i t i o n ; a m u l t i - e p i s o d e , m u l t i - c h a r a c t e r s t y l e which i s a c l o s e r e l a t i v e o f the f a b l e and fairy-tale.  He  the  c i t e s the E t h i o p i c a o f H e l i o d o r u s as a work which  "stands v e r y much i n the same r e l a t i o n to the Homeric e p i c s as  Durrell's  Q u a r t e t does t o such g r e a t r e a l i s t i c n o v e l s o f the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y  66  as  Anna K a r e n i n a  pieces  and Middlemarch."  and time  Ethiopica.  The m u l t i p l i c i t y  d i s t o r t i o n s a r e common t o b o t h  Scholes  continues  to underscore  upon a t i m e " w h i c h ends The Q u a r t e t Egyptian  literature  referred  t o by P u r s e w a r d e n . ^  indicate  t h a t he had decided  and  the experience  epic,  which  a writer's  of Alexandria  (C,  n i g h t h i s muse, L i z a ,  this  Liza-Yuna  in  the desert  concludes of  just  Quartet poetry  This  as a t o t a l l y  the only  to love  could  their  words  about Love'" the o l d Arab  (M, 5 4 1 ) , love  a n d m e m o r a b l e moments o f t h a t when h e  sleeps  o f Yuna.  with  i n impact  Yet  t o t h e one w h i c h  l i n k e d t o Pursewarden's  apprehension  She c a n n o t u n d e r s t a n d h i s i r o n y  Pursewarden  fails  to write  as he wishes  t h e way h e i m a g i n e s h e s h o u l d .  o f Pursewarden's  a new d e f i n i t i o n  a stirring  who h e a r J u s t i n e : only  i s equal  literary  of naturalism  to the imagination  l o v i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p between  listen  relate  reported  works  I n The  are romantic  o r t h e d i s t a n t i r o n y o f God i s a_ H u m o r i s t .  response o f the audience  listeners;  "'all  him so deeply  natural being.  examples  b a s e d on L i z a  a truly  to Justine  parable  romanticism.  as he f a i l s  Pursewarden sees  of  a book  last  contours"  appears t o him i n the guise  and i s d i r e c t l y  or h i s melancholy to,  o f t h e Greek-  f i g u r e i s a mummy, a n d P u r s e w a r d e n m u s t b u r y h i s d r e a m sands.  Clea  Melissa  to write  and t h e  t h a t t h e "Once  and not o f the "epic  769), a f f e c t s  that  the fact  i s characteristic  i s "one o f t h e m o s t s i g n i f i c a n t life"  The Q u a r t e t  But Pursewarden's  of listening  of narrators, set  ideal  "The p o e t r y  natural selves  o f the a r t .  the t e l l e r  o f the p o s s i b i l i t y  the extreme  "right  i n the absolutely It is a  o f the tale  o f a t i m e when  vision  and t h e everyone  attention" o f the c h i l d p r o s t i t u t e s  h a d s t r i p p e d them t o t h e b o n e a n d  to flower  natural  thus  i n expressions  left  faithfully  67:  portraying t h e i r t i n y stunted i s one  spirits!"  (C,  769).  Again the movement  which attempts t o escape the c l a u s t r o p h o b i c  psychology and  confines  s u b j e c t i v i t y , to move from the p r i v a t e and  intellectualized  of i n d i v i d u a l  highly  "Romantic agony" to the more p u b l i c shared n a i v e t y  of  the A r a b i a n N i g h t s t a l e s , where l o v e and p a i n are d i s p l a y e d i n s t o r i e s 62 o f "what may  be  love should does, and  s t r i p away the o u t e r masks the same way  leave  achieved  c a l l e d the e t i o l o g y o f m u t i l a t i o n . "  the s p i r i t exposed, whether s t u n t e d  never e c l i p s e d by  C.  Melissa The  sentiment o r  scene t h a t might be  o f modern man  the power o f o r not.  poetry  Cavafy  i s the one  episode i s reported which has  i n which Pursewarden and M e l i s s a dance The  twice i n The  a synonymous meaning.  where Pursewarden's query i s : solitude?" 163) .  Her  reply:  irony.  termed t r a g i c i n view o f the l o v e - p l i g h t  i n t h e c l u b where she works.  major q u e s t i o n  The  first  occasion  "as  confronts  this form  occurs i n J u s t i n e ,  "Comment vous defendez-vous c o n t r e  "actual" incident,  la  instead  Pursewarden ask w i t h drunken i r o n y :  " M e l i s s a , comment vous defendez-vous contre  gesture,  answer o f  Q u a r t e t i n an antonymic v e r b a l  M o u n t o l i v e , which r e c o u n t s the  "Monsieur, je ne me  and  together  "Monsieur, je s u i s devenue l a s o l i t u d e meme"  o f the remembered anecdote, has  suffers  power o f  t h i s g o a l ; he exposed the p a i n o f l o v e w i t h a tenderness which  was  (J_,  The  defends p l u s . "  l a foule?"  While she  i f i n d i c a t i n g a t o t a l world  from a c o n d i t i o n common to a l l The  modern l i t e r a t u r e and modern s o c i e t y .  reply:  answers she makes a  . . ."  the shadow-side o f l i f e h o n e s t l y .  Her  She  (M,  526).  Melissa  r e a d i l y admits t h a t  Quartet characters,  she  as w e l l  as  68  The in  value of D u r r e l l ' s Alexandrian  s e t t i n g and  inhabitants rests  the a b i l i t y o f the b e s t o f them, l i k e Cavafy, to plumb the depths  o f the psyche where p e r v e r s i o n s and  r e l i g i o n s are born; to  the f e a r and t r e m b l i n g o f a mind and body surrounded by f e l l o w s o f the human k i n d .  Despite  confront  the most d i v e r s e  h i s o b l i q u e and d e c o r a t i v e  style,  D u r r e l l ranks w i t h the g r e a t w r i t e r s i n h i s i r o n i c d e p i c t i o n o f d i f f i c u l t y o f c o n f r o n t i n g the lower o r shadow s i d e o f l i f e .  the  Few  speeches  c o u l d be more demonstrative o f the mind's w i l l to b e l i e v e i n another's l o v e when a l l the c o n d i t i o n s o f r e a l i t y g i v e the l i e t o i l l u s i o n , M e l i s s a ' s r e p l y to Pursewarden's s t a r k q u e s t i o n , ( r e f e r r i n g to her p r o s t i t u t i o n ) . know, he i s v e r y good. t r u s t s me. we for  He  Our  "'Oh  life  "Does D a r l e y know?" said quietly.  'You  i s a s t r u g g l e , but he knows me.  never asks f o r any  details.  have enough money to go away I w i l l us.'  yes' she  than  He knows t h a t one  stop a l l t h i s .  He  day when  I t i s not  important  I t sounded q u a i n t , l i k e some f e a r f u l blasphemy i n the mouth  of a c h i l d "  (M,  527).  M e l i s s a i s the a n t i t h e s i s o f a l l romantic p a s s i o n , a l l g u i l t f e e l i n g s l i n k e d t o s o c i e t y , a l l e f f o r t s a t i n t r i g u e a g a i n s t h e r s e l f or others.  She  i s d e s c r i b e d as a " s t a t u e o f p r i d e hanging i t s head"  a p e r s o n robbed o f a l l n a r c i s s i s m . u g l i n e s s r a t h e r than beauty.  P r i d e , i n M e l i s s a , causes i n c r e a s e d  Pursewarden i s trapped by what C l e a  calls  can o n l y g i v e y o u r s e l f , t r a g i c a l l y , to  those  the laws o f shyness:  "you  who  (J_, 97) .  l e a s t understand"  (J_, 53);  He has  c o n f i d e d i n M e l i s s a , someone  cannot understand h i s i n t e r n a l i z e d moral dilemma because she has o n l y the grotesque r e a l i t y o f l o v e on the s t r e e t s .  who  experienced  D u r r e l l i s showing us  the p e r f e c t unreason o f the l o g i c o f l o v e ; p a r a d o x i c a l l o g i c which p l a y s  69  cruel t r i c k s on the emotions.  This moment of shared secrets, apparently  devoid of intrigue, i s i t s e l f a v i c t i m of the f a t a l gap i n the defences of the conspirators Justine and Nessim.  The triumphant second of  confidences exchanged i n tenderness, without the daggers of treachery or power to stale and wound the spontaneous emotion, i s k i l l e d by the external force of the p o l i t i c a l p l o t . Melissa's p o r t r a i t i s especially s t r i k i n g i n view of the c i t y ' s history because she i s a displaced Greek; one of the survivors of the H e l l e n i s t i c race stranded on the shores of Alexandria. l i f e i s the most debased among those who  Although her  are major characters, she i s  perhaps i n her honesty, naturalness and c h i l d - l i k e trust, the most moral character i n The Quartet.  Durrell's idea of morality i s best i l l u s t r a t e d  by Melissa's i n a b i l i t y to f a l l prey to f a l s e sentiment.  The fact that  she refuses to v i s i t o l d Cohen on h i s 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 h e r s e l f as one imposed upon by the unwanted a f f e c t i o n of Cohen; she simply knows that i n her l i f e , miserable as i t i s , he meant nothing.  Apart from Cavafy, with his pan-Hellenic poetry, Melissa  i s Durrell's only Greek figure, desperately, even h e r o i c a l l y  attempting  to hold onto the Greek idea of the i n d i v i d u a l soul which Pursewarden discusses i n 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 emotional  stance.  c a l l s and t h e i r own  uncompromising  Clea perceives that Narouz seems to be confessing h i s  love i n the "tone of a man  t a l k i n g to himself" (B_, 375) .  When Melissa  70  declines to see Cohen, Darley becomes a witness his  i l l u s i o n s . . . " (J, 91).  to the "dense jungle of  As Cohen unconsciously reveals h i s  deepest s e l f he talks about three woman or female names.  Darley assumes  that the t h i r d mentioned, Rebecca, must be h i s daughter, "for i t i s the children who d e l i v e r the f i n a l coup de grace i n a l l these transactions o f the heart . . . " . (J_, 92).  terrible  The whore, the wife and the  daughter a l l merge into one p o r t r a i t of remorse and regret.  Even i n  the l i f e of o l d Cohen there are three versions of the verb "love" — the only thing which can sustain a man i n the face of a lapse of the w i l l to l i v e .  But love cannot be exploited by the dying ego,  humbled to the point of begging.  D u r r e l l may over-dramatize,  finally but his  deathbed scenes are powerful reminders of the fate o f those who f a i l to confront t h e i r true feelings and lack the courage to express t h e i r love.  D.  Clea and Balthazar Clea and Balthazar suffer such severe wounds i n Clea because they  have t r i e d to remain aloof and unaffected by the emotional b a t t l e s going on a l l around them.  An important h i n t of Clea's future role  and an explanation of her apparent a b i l i t y to outlast the ravages of love, even when p h y s i c a l l y affected by passion, i s given i n Balthazar. Her e f f o r t to stave o f f her f e e l i n g for Justine i s a vain one, but "She knew that the heart wearies of monotony, that habit and despair are the bedfellows of love, and she waited p a t i e n t l y , as a very o l d woman might, for the flesh to outgrow i t s promptings, . . . " (B, 242). The attitude o f an aged woman, awaiting the death o f i n s t i n c t i v e  urges,  confirms Clea as a non-participant i n the c a r n i v a l search for i d e n t i t y ,  71  a defeatist i n the v i o l e n t carnal world of Alexandria; one who  i s not  f u l l y a l i v e because she refuses to i n f l i c t the necessary wounds upon herself.  This i s the major reason for her famous injury, and l i n k s her  non-involvement to that of Balthazar.  Balthazar's foolishness i n h i s  love for Panagotis presents a g l a r i n g contradiction to his avowed freedom from the a f f l i c t i o n i n the volume which bears h i s name.  His  homosexuality supposedly allows his mind to roam amidst the poetry of calculus, free of the enslavement of romantic passion. and Clea share a common condition. had only one a f f a i r —  to Syria.  The Clea of the early volumes has  a lesbian one with Justine.  that she belongs to men,  Here Balthazar  Although she r e a l i z e s  she remains v i r g i n a l and aloof u n t i l she goes  She has yet to become a survivor of Alexandria.  Groddeck writes that i t i s not homosexuality which i s hard for him to understand (as i t i s an obvious consequence of s e l f - l o v e ) , but the contrary: puzzle.^  how  the i n t e r e s t i n the opposite sex develops remains a  He also asserts that Christ understood this basic contradiction  p e r f e c t l y when He said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." What psychology c a l l s narcissism i s the i n s t i n c t toward s e l f - g r a t i f i c a t i o n , and C h r i s t "made clear His conviction that man  gives most of h i s love  to himself, and the p r a t t l e of good people He c a l l e d P h a r i s a i c a l and 64 h y p o c r i t i c a l , which indeed i t i s . "  Clea makes a d e f i n i t i v e speech  about love, and i t s limited allotment to any one person, which  concludes:  "For i t s destination l i e s somewhere i n the deepest regions of the psyche where i t w i l l come to recognize i t s e l f as s e l f - l o v e , the ground upon which we b u i l d the sort of health of the psyche. or narcissism" (J, 109).  I do not mean egoism  To possess genuine s e l f - l o v e i s to become  72  depersonalized i n the non-egotistical sense; to lose the desire to prove or analyze oneself.  But this p o s i t i v e depersonalization brings  with i t the a b i l i t y to share love, and not the void created by the loss of the beloved which results i n the anguished cry, "Everything i n 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 a f f a i r with Justine and, except for a humorous request to Pursewarden to deprive her of her v i r g i n i t y , remains untouched u n t i l the reported a f f a i r with Amaril.  Balthazar's a f f a i r s  are not detailed u n t i l the disastrous infatuation with Panagotis i s also reported a f t e r the fact.  Scobie, the other major homosexual  character, has a perfect "father and daughter" r e l a t i o n with Clea. Balthazar tends the sick and Clea not only functions as c l i n i c a r t i s t , but also sees Melissa out of l i f e , 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 i n d i v i d u a l way of perceiving events which also serves to protect them.  Balthazar sees through the mysticism of the Cabal  or the starkness of the c i t y ' s genito-urinary system.  Clea's romantic  and innocent v i s i o n allows her to make assertions which are often absolute, but lack empathy with the sufferings of those she comments upon. D e f i n i t e l y both Clea and Balthazar are to some extent inverts who  value  s e l f - l o v e more h i g h l y than most A l e x a n d r i a n s , b u t need a wounding  and  p a i n f u l encounter w i t h the opposing d e s i r e s o f o t h e r s to a t t a i n a t r u e equilibrium.  E.  V a r i a t i o n s on the Holy In  men  another  Man  d i s p l a y o f p a r a d o x i c a l i r o n y , D u r r e l l c r e a t e s two  f o r The Q u a r t e t who  c o u l d not p o s s i b l y be  i n p e r s o n a l i t y , although b o t h are m a r v e l o u s l y b l i n d p r e a c h e r a t Memlik's "Night o f God" to  u n i t e o t h e r s through  t i o n i n The  the unique  f a r t h e r from each o t h e r self-identified.  and Scobie share an  g i f t o f themselves.  Q u a r t e t o f the b e l i e f t h a t each person has  The ability  The o n l y demonstrathe  ability  to  be an a r t i s t i f h i s s p i r i t i s awakened, simply by a word l i k e  or  the c a l l o f the muezzin, i s g i v e n by the b l i n d p r e a c h e r .  of  the k i n e t i c beauty  object" in  (M, 605).  holy  He  Edelweiss is "full  o f a human b e i n g whose s o u l has become a v o t i v e  Here i s the o n l y approximation  o f t o t a l l y happy l o v e  The Q u a r t e t ; p o i s e d between two w o r l d s , i t i s termed " g h o s t l y c o n t e n t -  ment o f an a b s o l u t e f a i t h i n something which was  the more s a t i s f y i n g  for  The o l d man  not b e i n g f u l l y apprehended by the r e a s o n . "  group o f v e n a l scheming businessmen t o b r e a t h l e s s s i g h s and contemplations.  Memlik, the most grotesque  the p r o c e e d i n g s w i t h the words: God  "The  compose themselves  t o become u n i t e d w i t h  (M, 606).  The audience  i n t o an a t t i t u d e o f extreme a t t e n t i o n .  which f o l l o w d e s c r i b e the awakening o f n a t u r a l f o r c e s . e n t h r a l l s h i s l i s t e n e r s , who they f e l l  silent  miser i n A l e x a n d r i a , s t a r t s  o n l y way  i s by c o n s t a n t i n t e r c o u r s e w i t h him"  inspires a  The  immediately  images  The o l d s h e i k  " f o l l o w e d the n o t a t i o n o f the v e r s e s as  from h i s l i p s w i t h care and r a p t u r e , g r a d u a l l y s e e k i n g  their  74  way  together out into the main stream of the poetry, l i k e a school  of f i s h following a leader by i n s t i n c t out into the deep sea"  (M,  607).  This i s Durrell's evocation of the a r t buried i n the inmost heart of every man, tenderness.  which can be brought to l i g h t by simple right attention, by Here there i s no fear of l o s i n g or revealing a part of  the s e l f which i s compartmentalized or kept secret. This episode's r e l a t i o n to the love theme becomes clearer when contrasted with the world-infected image of the b a t t l e of Eros which escapes Pursewarden during his night with Melissa:  "The  shark-infested  seas of love which closed over the doomed s a i l o r ' s head i n a voiceless paralysis of the dream, the deep-sea dream which dragged one downwards, dismembered and dismembering . . . "  (M, 531).  slowly  He sees i n  Melissa's sexual slang (the term " l a Veuve") only another metaphor for a l o s t tenderness extended into a hideous mimicry of castration. The sea imagery r e f l e c t s the two poles:  the pure natural i n s t i n c t  of the animated heart and the touch of the central pulse of l i f e  and  the opposed devouring, diminishing and cannibal forces within the mind. Durrell's g i f t i s the display of paradox within synthesis: a b i l i t y to a c t u a l l y convey the "whole bloody range."  The  the  character  Scobie i s the crowning achievement i n this area; for, i n almost a l l of Scobie's  speeches, loves normally designated  r e l i g i o u s and holy,  loves c a l l e d perverse or sexual, merge and b l u r boundaries and remain indefinable by any kind of code; e t h i c a l , r e l i g i o u s or moral. Scobie who  explains his homosexual "Tendencies" by t e l l i n g  " ' I t ' s the lack of tenderness, o l d man. somehow, you get lonely'" (B_, 227).  And i t i s  Darley:  I t a l l depends on cunning,  Scobie i s a triumph of the absurd  75  v i s i o n coupled with great humour; together they produce a human s o l i d i t y which the other prototypes lack.  The unusually honest and r e a l i s t i c  assertions which he makes about h i s condition, such as the avowal that he could never l a y a finger on Abdul, or that he i s not f u l l y Answerable when i n h i s transvestite costume, are symptomatic of what might be c a l l e d philosophic resignation when exhibited by any other character. In Scobie, these truisms r e f l e c t a bedrock l e v e l of consciousness, an absence of i l l u s i o n , as opposed to the aphoristic experimentation of the more sophisticated and less honest.  CHAPTER V THE  Darley  BATTLE OF CLEA  had s t a r t e d o u t i n J u s t i n e t o s e a r c h  for truth, but Justine  h e r s e l f t e l l s him i n C l e a t h a t he p r e f e r s a " m y t h i c a l by  t h e f i v e senses"  (C_, 693) .  I r o n i c a l l y , J u s t i n e t e l l s him t h i s a t  a p o i n t where i t has a l r e a d y become unnecessary. perceive As  p i c t u r e framed  He has begun t o  more than a s t a t i c f r e s c o o f images surrounded by t h e senses.  noted b e f o r e ,  Mountolive e x h i b i t s t h e h e i g h t  o f t h e f r e s c o and  Pursewarden's death l i b e r a t e s M o u n t o l i v e " s v i s i o n and s e t s him f r e e i n the time-stream t o "improvise" personality-creation). personal  longer  mythical  active  The death f o r c e d a change i n h i s f i x e d s e t o f  r e l a t i o n s , o p e r a t i n g by code and c o n v e n t i o n r a t h e r than by  true a f f e c t i o n . any  (another word which s i g n i f i e s  I t i s Pursewarden's d e c i s i o n n o t t o l i v e w i t h  illusion  t h a t f o r c e s L e i l a t o meet Mountolive and d i s s o l v e s h i s  image o f Egypt.  The e n t i r e c r i s i s  sentiment and memory and enables him t o a c t .  r e l i e v e s him o f a burden o f L i k e Darley,  he wishes  t o b r i n g back t h e image he once h e l d , b u t r e a l i t y has f o r c e d growth beyond sentiment.  Pursewarden has e n a c t e d the most extreme form o f  l i b e r a t i o n from the a b s o l u t e  o f Love and j o i n e d h i m s e l f  burden o f emotion, h i s p r i v a t e dream.  t o h i s hidden  In C l e a , the remaining  characters  are r e l i e v e d o f a hoard o f memories and f e e l i n g s which make up a t o t a l l y p r i v a t e and incommunicable w o r l d o f i n v e n t i o n and i m a g i n a t i o n .  77  In C l e a , the images e r e c t e d by memory and the c h a r a c t e r s are t o r n down. The  dream, which  i n a k i n d o f bondage to the forms o f t h e i r The  i d o l s and  eidolons  enslaved  imagination  d i s a p p e a r o r are not  recognized.  predominance o f the v i s u a l sense, the power t o evoke the image by  "the mere a c t o f s e e i n g "  (C_, 694)  i s ended.  The most s t r i k i n g  symbolic  d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f t h i s l o s s o f meaning through the v i s u a l memory i s e f f e c t e d i n the scene i n which Darley and  attempts t o r e c a p t u r e  Melissa,  f i n d s h e r so c o m p l e t e l y v a n i s h e d t h a t not even the b l a c k and  d e t a i l o f a p i c t u r e can afternoon.  The  r e s t o r e the a c t u a l events o r words o f a  r e l a t i o n o f t h i s event to Pursewarden and  c o n s t i t u t e s the p a r a d o x i c a l  irony of Darley's  discovery.  white forgotten  to  literature  As  Melissa  reached b e h i n d Pursewarden's l i t e r a r y s e l f t o become a r e a l i t y i n h i s eyes i n s t e a d o f an image, Darley her  i n h i s l i t e r a r y work.  parted  The  wore out the r e a l b e i n g  t r a n s m u t a t i o n has  through  come f u l l  using  c i r c l e . . Words  to r e v e a l the n a t u r a l woman f o r Pursewarden, w h i l e Darley o b l i t e r a t e d  his individual identity i n his writing. confessional h i s t o r y of Alexandria o f what he c a l l s the (C, 681)  terminated.  i l l u s i o n s of  Darley's  have been " w r i t t e n out";  the  reign  " l y i n g s e l f - d e c e p t i o n so n a t u r a l to s e n t i m e n t a l i s t s " The  ' s a d i c ' tendency i s d e f i n e d  as the a d o p t i o n o f melodrama by the a c t o f p l e a s u r e  The  i n Swann's  the s e n t i m e n t a l i s t as a means o f  by making i t appear e v i l .  Darley  has  Way justifying  surpassed  the s a d i c tendency i n h i m s e l f which caused the exaggerated f e a r s  and  65 self-deceptions of Justine. What sounds n a t u r a l i n the mouth o f M e l i s s a , w i t h h e r Greek wish f o r a n g e l s to watch over D a r l e y , Pursewarden f i n d s i n her,  the c o m p l e t e l y n a t u r a l q u a l i t y t h a t  seems o u t o f p l a c e when quoted by  Balthazar.  78  As an epitaph to a love a f f a i r , "everything i n nature disappeared"  (C,  706)  is powerful and as e a s i l y 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 f e e l i n g when even her memory has become f a i n t .  More probably,  this r e p e t i t i o n i s a reminder of the  inexorable demands of the physical plane, and a further destruction of the delusive images of love of the f i r s t three books.  The i l l n e s s that  Melissa dies of i s the symbolic equivalent of Clea's near-death — f a i l u r e of the sexual nature.  a  Melissa's desire for death, i n a world  i n which she has known l i t t l e else but the most s o l i t a r y moments of professional sex, i s accompanied by a wish that Clea make love to Darley. Only i n Clea are the lovers freed from the domination of passionate love. Clea ceases her love-making with Darley because she i s being terrorized by the hauntings of Narouz, whose l i v i n g touch she shrank from.  After  the accident with the spear gun she l i e s i n the same bed which Melissa occupied and t e l l s Darley that although she loved Amaril the sex act convinced her that he was not the man description of Darley as a lover.  for her.  And we remember Melissa's  He was not lover enough; could not  give Melissa enough love to keep her a l i v e .  Scobie's "scrying" predicted  that Darley would not have the strength to rescue Clea when the dark one t r i e d to drag her to the underworld.  Finally,: i n a r t i f i c i a l  by this " p i t i f u l simulacrum of the sexual act — giving," (C_, 851)  life-saving,  respiration, life-  Darley succeeds i n loving Clea with an action f o r c e f u l  enough to defeat the "horror" (C_, 855)  supposedly i n f l i c t e d by Narouz,  the strongest representative of the c r u e l t i e s of d i s t o r t e d passion, and the character who  set Clea up as an unobtainable  image of love.  79  Deliverance  from a s t r u g g l e w i t h  mimic r e l i g i o u s r e v e l a t i o n . r e b i r t h a t t h e end o f The entered  o f my  f e e l s as though he has own  imaginings"  The b a t t l e o f C l e a i s n o t so much an e x t e r n a l one,  subconscious drama.  and  kingdom, thanks t o the Hand" (C_,  i n a d e s e r t o f my  the d e s i r e s o f o t h e r s and  artistic  "I have c r o s s e d the b o r d e r  r e t u r n s t o C l e a i n i t i a l l y , he  on a "huge a r i d detour  i s d e s c r i b e d i n terms which  C l e a d e l i v e r s a message about her  Quartet:  i n t o the p o s s e s s i o n  When D a r l e y  the p a s s i o n s  (C,  been  726).  fought  the w i l l o f the C i t y , as i t i s an  874).  against  internal  D u r r e l l employs a Romantic-epic s t y l e and  a  d e c o r a t i v e m u l t i p l i c i t y o f background i n the t h r e e e a r l i e r volumes to a g r e a t e r degree than i n C l e a , which r e s t o r e s not o n l y a c t u a l  chronology,  but a l s o c r e a t e s a t h e a t r e f o r the i n n e r drama o f the c h a r a c t e r s ' C. S. Lewis p a r a l l e l s was  the e x p e r i e n c e s  o f the age  i n which a l l e g o r y  born to those o f a b e g i n n e r i n modern p s y c h o l o g y , ^ and  also points  o u t t h a t "the gaze t u r n e d inward w i t h a moral purpose does n o t character.  No man  i s a ' c h a r a c t e r ' to h i m s e l f , and  he  t h i n k s o f good and e v i l .  he  f i n d s o n l y the raw  f o r mastery.  Character  That u n i t a r y ' s o u l ' or  discover  l e a s t of a l l while  i s what he has  m a t e r i a l , the p a s s i o n s  subconscious.  to produce; w i t h i n  and emotions which contend  ' p e r s o n a l i t y ' which i n t e r e s t s the  n o v e l i s t i s f o r him merely the arena i n which the combatants meet:  it  i s t o the combatants —  —  t h a t he must a t t e n d . " ^ "As  Passions  those 7  ' a c c i d e n t s o c c u r r i n g i n a substance'  In a f o o t n o t e t o the above he  become People f o r the a l l e g o r i s t ,  becomes P a s s i o n s  so x  f o r the a n a l y s t ; o r a t l e a s t he  as i f they were ' d e s i r e s ' . . . .  As  concludes  ( i n the  that,  unconscious)  can t a l k o f them o n l y  the f i r s t century  dived i n t o  the p s y c h o l o g i c a l by the a i d o f P e r s o n i f i c a t i o n the t w e n t i e t h  d i v e s to  80  the sub-soul by  the a i d o f  'Passionification'."  examples o f t h e " P a s s i o n i f i c a t i o n " p r o c e s s ,  The  Quartet i s f u l l  such as the p o r t r a i t  of  C l e a a t the moment when she r e a l i z e s the c o n f l i c t between "good" " e v i l , " d e s i r e and d i s g u s t , which c r e a t e s the p a s s i o n the s u r p r i s e d " p e r s o n a l i t y " who o f h e r own  psyche.  i s herself  of  and  for Justine i n  an a n a l y s t o f the  battlefield  C l e a i s p u z z l e d because "these d i s g u s t s came from  p r e c i s e l y the same q u a r t e r s as the d e s i r e to hear once more t h a t hoarse noble v o i c e — beloved h e r by  they  once more.  too arose o n l y from the e x p e c t a t i o n o f s e e i n g These p o l a r i t i e s o f f e e l i n g b e w i l d e r e d  t h e i r suddenness"  (B, 241).  The  reader  and  her  frightened  i s - f o r c e d t o ask:  What  are our v a l u e s based on i f our d e s i r e s and our p e r c e p t i o n o f them i s as sudden and as p o l a r i z e d as Darley child  (C,  this?  f i n d s i t necessary  to d e s c r i b e J u s t i n e and Nessim to  " i n terms o f myth o r a l l e g o r y —  661).  He  saw  t h a t "the main t h e a t r e  memory, o f love?) was  a l s o "the c i t y o f c h i l d h o o d " whole toybox o f E g y p t i a n (C_, 732),  adolescence"  (of the h e a r t ' s a f f e c t i o n s , o f  (C,  life"  The  C i t y i s a t h e a t r e t h i s time,  671).  (C,  675),  Examples p r o l i f e r a t e :  (C,  "Just l i k e a c h i l d " prepared  "the  L i z a ' s v o i c e , "which might have been t h a t o f u n c e r t a i n  (C_, 783) , the group o f p e o p l e who  819),  and  " A l e x a n d r i a has become a huge  Fosca's f a t a l a c c i d e n t " i n g r e a t p a t i e n c e and children"  of I n f a n t uncertainty"  the same; y e t the d i f f e r e n c e s o f d e t a i l , o f decor  stuck out o b s t i n a t e l y " (C, 670).  orphanage"  the p o e t r y  the  w a i t on the p i e r a f t e r submissiveness  like  and Pombal s c r i b b l i n g dragons and whorls on a (C_, 821) .  The  r e a d e r and  the c h a r a c t e r s  pad,  are  f o r a Yuna and A z i z f a i r y - t a l e world; are i n d o c t r i n a t e d i n t o  the u n c e r t a i n a b i l i t y o f c h i l d r e n t o b e l i e v e what they  can i n t e n s e l y  81  f e e l , but cannot explain.  The power of prophecy i s f e l t as a r e a l i t y ,  especially i n the instance of Mountolive's  appearance i n Liza's l i f e ,  so that when Scobie's prediction about Clea comes true i t seems a natural part of events i n the theatre of Clea.  A r e a l l y new  cycle has begun  for the prototypes; one i n which statues are torn from the marble block and set free to l i v e , i n which youth ends forever i n order that a new youthfulness of determination and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y can begin.  As L i z a  finishes burning Pursewarden's l e t t e r s she i s s i l e n t , "her head hanging i n profound concentration over this ancient image, l i k e a  soothsayer  gazing fixedly into the dark c r y s t a l of youth" (C_, 804) . The symbolic suspense i s sustained through the images of childhood, drama, and prophecy.  The skeptic Darley, who would have t r i e d to f i n d  a r a t i o n a l explanation for the fact that Clea has f a l l e n out of love, feels compelled "to present i t as something else — i t may  sound —  preposterous  as  as a v i s i t a t i o n of an agency, a power i n i t i a t e d i n  some uncommon region beyond the scope of the ordinary imagination" (C_, 836).  The drama may  be c a l l e d cosmic or subconscious,  but D u r r e l l  i s c e r t a i n l y successful i n concretizing the unknown factor i n human desire and those impulses and emotions which masquerade as desire; so that love i t s e l f i n i t s d i f f e r e n t forms becomes almost an a l l e g o r i c a l personage, or a modern " P a s s i o n i f i c a t i o n . "  Darley returns to Alexandria thinking  of the c i t y as "something which I myself had deflowered  ..."  (C,  701).  The c i t y has been a lover whose l o s t innocence has given him the a b i l i t y to comprehend the physical-metaphysical duality of desire, to descend to the sub-soul and f e e l the a r b i t r a r y and accidental nature of the Love which he described as an absolute i n Justine.  When Darley r e a l i z e s  8.2  t h a t A m a r i l was a " p l a y i n g c a r d " which he hadn't turned the word " l o v e " o n l y nature" The  " t o s i g n i f y my r e c o g n i t i o n o f the t h i n g ' s  (C_, 855), what Lewis c a l l s  memory n o v e l has t r u l y t u r n e d  o f a temps re'trouve.  "an a c c i d e n t o c c u r r i n g i n a substance."  Improvisation  succeeds c a l c u l a t i o n . Clea describes  "some strange Greek s t a t u e come t o l i f e " next speech t o quote Pursewarden:  d u l l block  Dialogue  L i z a as l o o k i n g  "Heed me, reader,  f o r the a r t i s t  the s t a t u e which must disengage i t s e l f  message t o L i z a , about s t a r t i n g t o l i v e ,  like  (C_, 743) and proceeds i n h e r  o f marble which houses i t , and s t a r t t o l i v e "  gives to J u s t i n e .  autonomous  i n t o a drama, a temps d e i i v r e ^ i n s t e a d  succeeds r e f l e c t i o n and a n a l y s i s .  i s you, a l l o f us —  over, he uses  from the  (C, 744). H i s  i s t h e same one which Nessim  But Pursewarden's d e s i r e i s t o f r e e L i z a t o l o v e  another and f i n d an i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y , w h i l e Nessim wishes t o b i n d J u s t i n e t o him as a f e l l o w  conspirator.  C l e a i s an extremely P l a t o n i c book i n i t s imagery; as e x p l i c i t i n p o i n t s as t h e d e s c r i p t i o n : o f L i z a ' s eyes as she c r a d l e s Pursewarden's death mask; so l a r g e t h a t "they o v e r f l o w e d t h e whole f a c e , and turned it  i n t o a cave o f i n t e r r o g a t i o n " (C_, 741). As Lewis says,  was t h e p h i l o s o p h e r  Aristotle  o f d i v i s i o n s , who s e t a wedge between heaven and 64  hell,  reason and p a s s i o n .  I t seems t h a t D u r r e l l has shown the h e i g h t  o f t h i s p h i l o s o p h i c d i v i s i o n i n M o u n t o l i v e , and i n C l e a he n o t o n l y returns  t o an e m o t i o n a l c h i l d - l i k e acceptance, b u t a l s o t o an e a r l i e r  philosophic  and l i t e r a r y w o r l d .  A g a i n , as i n "Solange," there i s  a n o s t a l g i a f o r a time when emotions were n o t f i l t e r e d through the h e a d - c o n s c i o u s n e s s , and p a s s i o n The  r i v e r o f sex d e s c r i b e d  d i d n o t b l i n d the r e a s o n i n g  so d r a m a t i c a l l y  i n Mountolive —  powers. "the broad  83  underground r i v e r f l o w i n g has  i t s source i n the Roman age  s i n c e the H e l l e n i c h i a t u s , love  from P e t r o n i u s to Frank H a r r i s " — and  not  the Greek.  625)  In a l l those  c o u r t l y love alone r a i s e d the  centuries  concept o f  i n l i t e r a r y debate h i g h above the e x c l u s i v e l y s e x u a l ,  c o n t a i n s many images o f t h i s c o u r t l i n e s s .  (M,  and  Clea  Perhaps the most s t a r t l i n g  i s Pombal's acceptance o f the a t t i t u d e o f Fosca's husband, whose " n o t i o n s o f honour . . . would do c r e d i t to a troubadour" tragi-comic  (C_, 683) .  v e r s i o n o f c o u r t l y l o v e , i t i s the woman who  In t h i s  d i e s and  death p r o v i d e s the most e x p l i c i t d e s c r i p t i o n o f death i n The The  Quartet.  c o n j e c t u r e about what i t must f e e l l i k e to d i e i s r e l a y e d  terms which form the o p p o s i t e p o l e t o Pursewarden's d e s c r i p t i o n l o v e as the  t r u e s t form o f  "right attention."  t h a t death i s a k i n d l y wound, whose p a i n i s transported  i n t o an a l t e r n a t e  dream-world.  eyes o f the  spectators  are  o f some g r e a t marine p a i n t i n g " D a r l e y r e f l e c t s "how stage-masters who  (C_, 816)  i r o n i c a l l y i t had  He  the  k i n d o f dream" (C_, 818) . exemplified  The  lies,  tragedy  unusual d i s p e r s i o n o f  her  so s w i f t l y  " s m i l i n g t o h e r s e l f i n the  other characters  and  invisible  find that this  other  incident  something so f a r beyond the merely p e r s o n a l l e v e l  they f e e l c u t o f f from one o f sympathy.  She  theatre.  t h a t F o s c a "must  the s w i f t a n a e s t h e s i a o f shock which f o l l o w s 817).  the  scene o f the  thinks  victim  lines-of-force  been planned by  d i r e c t human a c t i o n s . "  upon the wound" (C,  has  to the  the  suggestion  scene i s composed  p a i n t i n g and  "drawn, as i f by  have f e l t , perhaps, simply a vague and attention,  The  in  of  There i s a l s o the  soon passes when the  c a r e f u l l y i n the dominant imagery o f C l e a — The  whose  that  another; unable to express the normal f e e l i n g s  Pombal t a l k s t o D a r l e y a f t e r the event "as  one  might t a l k  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,  i s 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 c r i s i s . Thematically, the erotic-metaphysical d i a l e c t i c and i t s linkage  to death, myth, and dream forms the central concern of The Quartet. The City becomes more of a personified author than anything else i n Clea and the largest i s o l a t e d set description of landscape evokes the ancient melancholy of pastoral Egypt instead of the concrete venality and merchandised sexuality of the c i t y .  In order to prepare f o r the  rebirth parable, to rejuvenate love i t s e l f , Durrell must make use of the sun and moon, the Adam of medieval legend, and the spectre of pastoral Egyptian l i f e .  The awareness of inner drama and destiny i s  stretched out to j o i n the external world and abolish the control of contingency and necessity.  Darley finds that only the Greek poems can  express the happiness and renewed l i f e of the l a s t summer i n Alexandria: "I am hunting for metaphors which might convey something of the p i e r c i n g happiness too seldom granted to those who  love; but words, which were  f i r s t invented against despair, are too crude to mirror the properties of something so profoundly at peace with i t s e l f , at one with i t s e l f  . . . .  Unless perhaps i t were simpler to repeat under one s breath some lines 1  torn from a Greek poem, written once i n the shadow of a s a i l , on a t h i r s t y promontory i n Byzantium" (C_, 827) .  And again, i n describing  the restoration of Clea before her accident: grey-eyed Muse' —  "'natural as a c i t y ' s  to quote the Greek poem" (C_, 846) .  Darley r e f l e c t s  85  that everything which had happened was pre-ordained and merely "'coming to pass "; 1  that the "scenario had already been devised somewhere, the  actors chosen, the timing rehearsed down to the l a s t d e t a i l i n the mind of that i n v i s i b l e author — city itself:  which perhaps would prove to be only the  the Alexandria of the human estate.  events, are carried within ourselves.  The seeds of future  They are i m p l i c i t i n us and unfold  according to the laws of t h e i r own nature"  (C, 828).  The  germinal  metaphor points to the imagery of fecundation and the companion p o s s i b i l i t y of r e b i r t h . poem ("The  Alexandria must pass away with the God,  as i n Cavafy's  God Abandons Antony") i n order that the characters may  be  free to f i n d a l i f e completely separated from the destructive demands of the c i t y of bondsmen to sensuality and uncertain analysis.  The entire  epiphanic f e e l i n g of Clea i s framed i n images of defloration and c h i l d b i r t h , while the uncertain adolescence  i s l e f t behind.  The polymorphous  eroticism of Alexandria i s 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 i s described by Darley i n terms of the c i t y —  a " c i t y now  trying s o f t l y 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" simply because of the novel q u a l i t y of h i s love for her.  (C_, 832) ,  The fresh  dispensation i s a highly physical one nevertheless, teeming with images of "animal contents"  (C_, 832) , which words cannot explain.  between time and the s e l f has been resolved; the new  The  conflict  self-knowledge or  86  gnosis i s based on an acceptance of b i o l o g i c a l rhythms and the continuum of nature even when things are constantly passing away. a "pedigree"  Death i s c a l l e d  (C_, 833) for kisses because the dead have an unused portion  of t h e i r b i o l o g i c a l rhythms and p a r t i c u l a r gestures which recur i n l i v i n g beings.  Perhaps the dictum that emerges most c l e a r l y i n the parable  of Clea i s that acceptance of death and self-abnegation are absolutely necessary  for l i f e ;  that even our bodies and gestures do not f u l l y  belong to us. This i s why Clea can create afresh with a mechanical hand, and even receive the a r t i s t i c reward of a breakthrough i n s t y l e . She has shared a part of h e r s e l f with the dead and become the true muse of Alexandria.  Her a r t i s no longer a way to protect h e r s e l f from l i f e ;  so she can t r u l y enter the h e r a l d i c present and j o i n i n the immediacy of perception and sensation.  The awakening from the dream world i n t o  immediacy and self-possession requires a great shock of the kind which Pursewarden and Clea receive.  In Clea the hazy i l l u s i o n a r y q u a l i t y of  perception i s gradually supplanted by the heraldic view of a world a playing card; a v i v i d one-dimensional image.  like  This flatness (or "time  spread out f l a t " ) i s i n t e n s i f i e d u n t i l the action i s freed i n the manner i n which a swimmer at l a s t breaks the surface.  When Darley reaches the  boat, dragging Clea's body, he has seen the l a s t of the h i s t o r i c a l underwater world of the drowned s a i l o r s .  The death and decay, the  b r u t a l i t y of natural process which would have frightened the Darley of Justine can now be almost laughed at, as witnessed i n the l e t t e r he writes to Clea from h i s i s l a n d : This barley i s l a i d upon the f l a t roofs for threshing out the chaff which they do with s t i c k s . Barley! hardly i s the word spoken before the ant-processions begin, long chains of dark ants trying to carry i t away to t h e i r private  87  storehouses. T h i s i n t u r n has a l e r t e d the y e l l o w l i z a r d s ; they prowl about e a t i n g the a n t s , l y i n g i n ambush w i n k i n g t h e i r eyes. And, as i f f o l l o w i n g o u t the octave o f c a u s a l i t y i n n a t u r e , here come the c a t s t o hunt and e a t the l i z a r d s . T h i s i s not good f o r them, and many d i e o f a w a s t i n g d i s e a s e a t t r i b u t e d to t h i s f o l l y . But I suppose the t h r i l l o f the chase i s on them. And then? W e l l , now and then a v i p e r k i l l s a c a t stone dead. And the man w i t h h i s spade breaks the snake's back. And the man? Autumn f e v e r s come on w i t h the f i r s t r a i n . The o l d men tumble i n t o the grave l i k e f r u i t off a tree. F i n i t a l a guerra! (C, 871) D a r l e y ' s b a t t l e a g a i n s t the c o n d i t i o n s o f l i f e has ended. as a s t a t e o f mind has  l e f t him;  f e e l i n g of self-possession. D a r l e y ready  the c i t y has been e x o r c i s e d by h i s  The war  i s over w i t h o u t a s t r u g g l e , l e a v i n g  t o f r e e l y and l o v i n g l y share a s t o r y w i t h h i s l i s t e n e r s  and w r i t e "Once upon a time beginnings.  Alexandria  He  . . .," the l e a s t s u b j e c t i v e o f s t o r y  i s f r e e t o l o v e w i t h a tenderness  by images and memories which c l o u d p e r c e p t i o n . Alexandrian i l l n e s s  from which D a r l e y has  and immediacy u n a f f e c t e d  Cavafy  d e s c r i b e s the  recovered:  I ' l l stand here. And I ' l l make myself b e l i e v e t h a t I r e a l l y see a l l t h i s (I a c t u a l l y d i d see i t f o r a minute when I f i r s t stopped) and not my u s u a l day-dreams here t o o , memories, my images o f s e n s u a l i t y . 6 8 The  r e i g n o f memory and the image i s over, the c o n f l i c t between  time and the s e l f has been r e s o l v e d .  Both D a r l e y and Lawrence D u r r e l l  have d i s c o v e r e d an e q u i l i b r i u m , a b a l a n c e between m y s t i c i s m and alism.  F i n i t a l a guerra.  intellectu-  88  CONCLUSION  C r i t i c s have argued that the r e b i r t h or regeneration which the characters experience  i n Clea i s vague and a r t i f i c i a l , a forced ending  and a weakness on the part of the author.  But i t must be remembered  that The Alexandria Quartet i s a novel of great length (the books are " s i b l i n g s " and not sequels, as Durrell states i n the preface to the e d i t i o n ) , which contains features more appropriate to poetry.  1962  Prophetic  i n t u i t i o n s , f l e e t i n g moments of heightened perception and sensation and random b i t s of philosophy constantly invade the narrative structure. The mysteries involved i n the r e l a t i v i t y and m u l t i p l i c i t y of perception and the psychological mechanics of thought and desire, dream and premonition, metaphysics.  replace what the ancient world would have c a l l e d  The extent of r e a l knowledge about perception and psychological  mechanism i s limited, and the terminology  used to describe these obscure  unconscious worlds i s even more r e s t r i c t e d .  For this reason,  Durrell  cannot describe, a complete a l t e r a t i o n i n his characters' method of evaluating experience  i n any other than a symbolic  form.  In addition,  the ending of The Quartet must avoid portraying a change i n "personality," that a r t i f i c i a l construct which the lovers must c l i n g to i n order to i d e n t i f y 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 s e l f .  The rescue of Clea must be a  self-possessed as well as an unself-conscior.s response to the event, an immediate entry into u n i f i e d perception, desire and action.  89  F i n a l l y , i t i s Durrell's embellished truisms and p l a y f u l b i t s of i r o n i c philosophy which sustain a reader and encourage him to speculate on the philosophy of love i t s e l f .  In an age which has l o s t the fear  of the supernatural and unknown and the a b i l i t y to appreciate the mystery behind the r a t i o n a l explanation o f phenomena, Durrell does come closer than h i s contemporaries to Chaucer i n h i s s p i r i t o f i n t e l l e c t u a l play and h i s a b i l i t y to leave the reader free to interpret the parable i n The Quartet.  FOOTNOTES  Lawrence D u r r e l l , "Lawrence Durrell Answers a Few Questions," The World of Lawrence D u r r e l l , ed. Harry T. Moore (Carbondale: Southern I l l i n o i s University Press, 1962), p. 157. 2 Lawrence D u r r e l l , The Alexandria Quartet (London: Faber and Faber, 1962), p. 556. The Alexandria Quartet was f i r s t published by Faber and Faber, London, and E. P. Dutton, New York, i n four volumes: Justine (1957), Balthazar (1958), Mountolive (London, 1958; New York, 1959) and Clea (1960). The one-volume e d i t i o n was f i r s t published i n London by Faber and Faber i n 1962. A l l subsequent references to The Quartet i n t h i s paper w i l l be followed by J_, B_. M, or C_ to indicate the novel .and by the page number from the 1962 edition i n parentheses. C. G. Jung, Modern Man i n Search o f a_ Soul, .trans. W. S. D e l l and Cary F. Baynes (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1933), p. 203. Otto Rank, The Myth of the Birth of the Hero and Other Writings (New York: Vintage-Knopf, 1959), p. 208. 4  Lawrence D u r r e l l , The Black Book (New York: 1963), p. 167. 5  E. P. Dutton,  ^ C. P. Cavafy, Cj_ P^ Cavafy: Selected Poems, trans. Edmund Keeley and P h i l i p Sherrard (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972), p. 3. 7 D u r r e l l , The Black Book, p. 151. p  Lawrence D u r r e l l , S p i r i t of Place: Letters and Essays on Travel, ed. Alan G. Thomas, new ed. (London: Faber and Faber, 1971), p. 404. 9  D u r r e l l , S p i r i t of Place, pp. 406-407.  1 0  Jung, Modern Man i n Search of a Soul, p. 207.  1 1  D u r r e l l , The Black Book, p. 199.  1 2  D u r r e l l , The Black Book, p. 201. - 90 -  91  1 3  Lawrence D u r r e l l , " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " The Book o f the I t , Georg Groddeck, t r a n s . V. M. E. C o l l i n s (New York: V i n t a g e , 1949), p. v i . 1  4  Durrell,  " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " The Book o f t h e I t , p. x i x .  Durrell,  " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " The Book o f t h e I t , p. x x i i .  G. S. F r a s e r , Lawrence D u r r e l l : Faber and Faber, 1973), p. 101. Lawrence I960) , p». 246. 18  Durrell, Collected  A Study, r e v . ed. (London:  Poems (London:  Durrell, Collected  Poems, P- 247.  Durrell,  Collected  Poems, P- 258.  Durrell,  Collected  Poems, P- 258.  21 D u r r e l l ,  Collected  Poems, P- 258.  Durrell, Collected  Poems, P- 259.  19 20  22 23 p. 168.  Durrell,  "The K n e l l e r  Faber and Faber,  Tape," The World o f Lawrence  Durrell,  Denis de Rougemont, Love i n t h e Western World, t r a n s . Montgomery B e l g i o n , 2nd. ed. (New York: Pantheon, 1956), p. 87. 2  4  25 E. M. F o r s t e r , A s p e c t s o f the Novel and Co., 1927), p. 39. 2  6  (New York:  H a r c o u r t , Brace  Rank, Myth o f t h e B i r t h o f t h e Hero, p. 132.  27 D u r r e l l , "Lawrence D u r r e l l Answers a Few Q u e s t i o n s , " The World o f Lawrence D u r r e l l , p. 157. 28 Lawrence D u r r e l l , The B i g Supposer: A D i a l o g u e w i t h Marc A l y n , t r a n s . F r a n c i n e B a r k e r (London: Abelard-Schumann, 1973), pp. 45-46. 29 Lawrence D u r r e l l , Lawrence D u r r e l l and Henry M i l l e r : A Private Correspondence, ed. George Wickes (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1963), p. 225. R. M. Grant, G n o s t i c i s m and E a r l y Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1959) , p. 9. 31  p. 54.  Lawrence  D u r r e l l , Nunquam  D u r r e l l , "Letters D u r r e l l , p. 230.  (London:  from Lawrence  Christianity  (New York:  Faber and Faber, 1970) ,.  D u r r e l l , " The World o f Lawrence  92  3  D u r r e l l , C o l l e c t e d Poems, p.  3  196.  34 Lawrence 35  D u r r e l l , Tunc  (London:  Faber and Faber, 1968), p. 90.  D u r r e l l , Tunc, p. 53.  ^ John P a u l Russo, "Love i n Lawrence (1969), p. 400. 3  43,  37 3  Jung, Modern Man  Durrell," Prairie  i n Search o f a_ S o u l , pp. 206-207.  Rank, The Myth o f t h e B i r t h o f t h e Hero, p.  8  Schooner,  146.  39 L i o n e l T r i l l i n g , "The Q u a r t e t : Two Reviews," World o f Lawrence D u r r e l l , p. 58. 40 Joyce Cary, A r t and R e a l i t y : Ways o f the C r e a t i v e P r o c e s s (New York: Doubleday-Anchor, 1961), p. 174. 4  Cary, p.  1  42  178.  D u r r e l l , Lawrence  D u r r e l l and Henry M i l l e r , p.  201.  43 F r e d e r i c k R. K a r l , "Lawrence D u r r e l l : P h y s i c a l and M e t a p h y s i c a l Love," The Con temporary E n g l i s h Novel (New York: F a r r a r , S t r a u s and Giroux, 1962), p . 42. Aldous Huxley, P o i n t Counter P o i n t 1928), p. 350. 4  4  (New York:  The Modern L i b r a r y ,  ^ Aldous Huxley, "Fashions i n Love," Do What You W i l l Chatto and Windus, 1956), p. 131. 4  (London:  ^ Aldous Huxley, L e t t e r s o f Aldous Huxley, ed. Grover Smith York and Evanston: Harper and Row, 1969), p. 829. 4  47  Huxley, L e t t e r s , p.  (New  831.  48 and Co.,  Wyndham Lewis, Time and Western Man 1928), pp. 15-16.  (New York:  H a r c o u r t , Brace  Eugene Lyons and Harry A n t r i m , "An I n t e r v i e w w i t h Lawrence D u r r e l l , " Shenandoah, 22, No. 2 (1971), pp. 48-49. 4  9  A n a i s N i n , The D i a r y o f A n a i s N i n , ed. Gunther Stuhlmann, I I (New York: Swallow P r e s s and Brace, H a r c o u r t & World, 1967) , p. 231. 51  p.  161.  D u r r e l l , Monsieur  ^ John A r t h o s , "Lawrence (1962), p. 372. 2  43,  Lawrence  (New York:  V i k i n g Press,  1975),  D u r r e l l ' s G n o s t i c i s m , " The P e r s o n a l i s t ,  93  A l a n Warren Friedman, The A l e x a n d r i a Q u a r t e t : A r t f o r Love's (Norman: U n i v e r s i t y o f Oklahoma P r e s s , 1970), p. 140.  Sake  54  Groddeck, The Book o f t h e I t , p.  230.  5  5  D u r r e l l , " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " The Book o f the I t , p. x i .  5  6  D u r r e l l , The B l a c k Book, p.  196.  57 Friedman, p.  142.  5  8  D u r r e l l , Lawrence  D u r r e l l and Henry M i l l e r , p.  5  9  D u r r e l l , C o l l e c t e d Poems, p.  207.  ^° de Rougemont, Love i n the Western World, p. Robert S c h o l e s , The F a b u l a t o r s P r e s s , 1967), p. 23. 6  1  (New York:  Northrop F r y e , Anatomy o f C r i t i c i s m : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1957), p. 193. 6  2  ^ 6  Groddeck, p. 4  362.  37. 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