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Out the tetralogy with grace beauty and stunning impact This rich exciting fare is Durrell's finest writing style a manner of writing few living authors can eual A magnificent achievement The Detriot News The reader is carried along on a current of superbly accomplished prose as flexible and colorful as that of any contemporary writer What Durrell has given us is well worth having San Francisco Chronicle. Sadly I have come to the end of The Alexandria uartet It has been a revelatory reading experience and I now see why this dated collection is still read praised even lovedI found Clea the weakest of the four perhaps because Durrell is winding down as is the historic city of Alexandria These days it is considered an unsafe location for tourists During the time covered by Clea the British Empire s heyday is coming to a close In his inimitable way Durrell infuses all of this into a sad farewellClea who had always been a shadowy presence in the earlier novels now has her day She is an artist a painter Of all the women in the uartet she comes across as the most well balanced a sort of Earth Mother figure and the feminist of the bunch The nararator whom I assume is Durrell himself finally has a love affair with her He is older and wiser now but Clea is wiser stillThe EndThe Books of the Alexandria uartetJustine Balthazar Mountolive Clea

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Clea by Lawrence Durrell

The magnificent final volume of one of the most widely acclaimed fictional masterpieces of the postwar eraFew books have been awaited as eagerly as Clea the sensuous and electrically suspenseful novel that resolves the enigmas of the Alexandria uartet Some years and one world war was after his bizarre liaisons with Melissa and Justine the Irish migr Darley becomes enmeshed with the bisexual artist Clea T. Over ten years ago I read the first book of the Alexandria uartet by Lawrence Durrell This summer I read books 3 4 Clea is the final book of the uartet and takes some of the characters stories to their conclusions and reveals hidden truths of others Clea herself is of a focus and serves as Darley s connector back to Alexandria even if it has grown sordid with the warAs always the writing is astounding even if I had to look up all the French and many of the English words Durrell always manages to capture the mood of heightened importance many of the characters possess and the distinctions between people because of their backgrounds This book is a bit of a conglomoration of other texts the journal and letters of Pursewarden a satisfying letter from Leila that changes some of the previous volume the poetry of Cavafy uotes from characters in previous books of the same uartet is it pretentious for Durrell to uote himself I don t know It adds a feeling of nostalgia but I liked those passages when I first encountered them best they don t belong to this volume as such The city has changed but colonialism lives on as Darley and friends continue to make love and go drinking as the harbor is bombed It s uite unnerving actually how sheltered they believe themselves to be whereas Justine and Nessim are virtually in hiding and are only in the background Clea s determination to carry on despite the changes in the city and the increased danger struck a chord with me as it feels similar to our ongoing pandemic living situationsI always believed that a love of human beings would flower strongly out of a common misfortune It isn t true To be here just the two of us sitting by candle light is almost a miracle in such a world You can t blame me for trying to hoard and protect it against the intrusive world outside can you And Darley thinks to himself from the depths of my own inner selfishness I was glad of these external pressures for they circumscribed our world perfectly penned us up closely together isolated usAnd that s the completion of a formerly unfinished series or book sets for the Reading Envy Summer Reading challenge to finish a series

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Hat affair not only changes the lovers it transforms the dead as well revealing new layers of duplicity and desire perversity and pathos in Lawrence Durrell's masterly constructionA massive marvelously concrete deeply felt statement of faith His style glows with the mineral deposits of many cultures One of the most important works of our time has come to an end The New York Times Book Review Clea rounds. After an absence of 7 years or so we return to Alexandria during the last year of WWII with the reliable Darley as narrator It seems that Durrell actually intends to give us some resolution to this multi faceted story so we revisit the same cast of characters some now dead some forever alteredit s difficult to even conjure up the first impressions I had of this exotic bunchOf course the emotional thrust of the story revolves around Clea someone that we ve only met obliuely in the earlier books She is an interesting study but perhaps less interesting than when she was only a hint But then again Darley doesn t always get things right and he s not even convinced that he is a worthy writer To be honest I didn t like Durrell s last picture of Justine arguably the linchpin of these books But is this Durrell s perspective or Darley s or is Darley just a self effacing projection of Durrell I ve talked too much The ending contains a nice edge of your seat adventure and a smile on your face conclusion And of course the language is rich and sometimes surprising It s all been a rewarding journey and I will miss these friends


10 thoughts on “Clea by Lawrence Durrell

  1. says:

    The final part of the uartet and it’s been a wonderful journey Not uite as strong I thought as the other three It is set about seven years later Darley has been living on a Greek island looking after Melissa’s daughter with Ness

  2. says:

    Over ten years ago I read the first book of the Alexandria uartet by Lawrence Durrell This summer I read books 3 4 Clea is the final book of the uartet and takes some of the characters' stories to their conclusions and reveals hidden truths of others Clea herself is of a focus and serves as Darley's connector back to Alexandria e

  3. says:

    This Precious Image Mountolive the third volume in The Alexandria uartet initially alienated me but totally turne

  4. says:

    Will review tomorrow

  5. says:

    In this final volume of the Alexandria uartet Durrell returns to Darley’s active narrative Darley has now departed his Aegean island and returned to Alexandria resuming his story there during World War II when the city is held by the Free French and is periodically being bombed by the Italians Some of his old friends have died but their stories are very much alive and inform the plot Others have aged but take up their

  6. says:

    After an absence of 7 years or so we return to Alexandria during the last year of WWII with the reliable Darley as narrator It seems that Durrell actually intends to give us some resolution to this multi faceted story so we revisit the same cast of characters some now dead some forever alteredit's difficult to ev

  7. says:

    Last of the Alexandria uartet I've uoted from the other three so here's a bit of Clea A phrase of Pursewarden's came into my mind as I softly closed the door of the ward 'The richest love is that which submits to the arbitration of time' Individually any of the four is a gem Altogether the uartet is magnificent I don't love or even like Elizabeth Gilbert but I read a uote of hers a bit ago about listening in a college freshman English clas

  8. says:

    Sadly I have come to the end of The Alexandria uartet It has been a revelatory reading experience and I now see why this dated collection is still read praised even lovedI found Clea the weakest of the four perhaps because Durrell is winding down as is the historic city of Alexandria These days it is considered an unsafe location for tourists During the time covered by Clea the British Empire's heyday is com

  9. says:

    Clea is the fourth and final installment of Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria uartet If you have not already done so you should read the others—in seuence—before starting this one I toyed with the notion of reading these out of order myself but in the end I'm glad I stuck with the way Durrell presented them And if you tho

  10. says:

    To finally have finished the fourth in this amazing uartet of books feels like a journey of sorts I have really adored being emersed in the lives of this group of individuals thrown together through public and political life in a backdrop of exotic Egyptian locations and traditions starting in the romantic 1930's through to wartime The contrast between the British characters Mountolive Darley Pursewarden and o