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Lawrence Durrell
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chris-l



Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 731



PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:51 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Thanks for the link, Evie: an interesting overview. I have never really got into Durrell's poetry, although I must make the effort one day. A boss of mine many years ago was a great admirer, but I have only really read his prose, varied as that is.


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Gul Darr



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 715


Location: King's Lynn

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you know, Evie, I absolutely *love* the Alexandria Quartet. However, you may remember I started reading Monsieur and it just didn't have the same magic in my opinion. Then I came to the passages about Gnosticism and just couldn't continue. Nonetheless, I would like to read some more Durrell, seeing as how highly I rate his writing. Do the other books in the Avignon Quintet also explore gnostic experiences and is it necessary or advisable to have completed Monsieur first?


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gul, so sorry for missing this post...  There is Gnostic stuff in the Quintet, but not all the time - Livia, the second novel, doesn't have anything particularly - though it's one of the fascinations of Durrell's world for me, even though it is so alien to my own thinking.

You do have to read Monsieur first, I think - certainly Livia won't make sense without that - the whole structure depends on knowing the final parts of Monsieur.

I do get confused in my mind as to which of the set pieces occur in the Alexandria or Avignon series!  

I am now onto Constance, and once again luxuriating in being back in the world of Durrell's fabulous writing.

One thing I meant to mention - near the end of Livia, Durrell uses the phrase 'top whole' - I have usually (always?) seen it written as 'top hole' - anyone have thoughts on that?


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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always thought it was top-hole as used by Wimsey and Wooster in those delightful tomes. Not a word used much today I would think - it's all text speak now to show sophistication!


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Gul Darr



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 715


Location: King's Lynn

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Evie.
'Top whole' must be a mistake? I've never seen it before.


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I can't find any other reference to 'top whole' - possibly a printing error, or a proofreading one - Durrell did write quickly.  He is not infallible - I have come across one or two other doubtful things, though this seems fairly elementary.  I just wondered if it was me that was getting it wrong!  As you say, Castorboy, not used that often - though quite frequently in spoken English, with a put-on posh accent.


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finished Constance this morning.  Constance!

Marvellous stuff - so much to think about, and I thought about very little of it...  Politics, sex, human behaviour, nationality and nationalism, all those things in all their complexity, with wonderful characters, witty dialogue, fabulous evocations (more than descriptions) of place, and writing that feels like a warm, luxurious bath.  So sorry not to have more detail to give, but maybe it will come.

Now onto Sebastian.  Sebastiyanne...


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finished Sebastian - the shortest in the series - this morning.  More later...just wanted to record it!  Fascinating stuff.


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chris-l



Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 731



PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must get back to Durrell and make a start with 'Sebastian'. I did feel the need for a break after the emotional intensity of 'Constance' and just recently I have been deep into the 'Parade 's End' books. I  am about half way through the third volume, so have comfortably managed to stay ahead of the BBC series.

Any comments on 'Sebastian'? It is probably the book that I remember least well from previous reading, so I don't really have an impression of what awaits me.


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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1605


Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a programme on Radio 4  - a reassessment of Lawrence Durrell and a look at why his reputation seemed to go rapidly into decline. I didn't hear it but it's just been advertised as still available via the BBC website - I suppose they mean i-player! It is some sort of anniversary - 100 years since his birth? - so there may be more stuff about.

Did any of the Durrell fans here listen?

My reading of the Alexandria Quartet came creaking to a halt some time ago.



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