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 The Alexandria Quartet

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ذكر عدد المساهمات : 1005
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تاريخ التسجيل : 09/12/2008
العمر : 29
العمل/الترفيه العمل/الترفيه : بابني مصر
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مُساهمةموضوع: The Alexandria Quartet   الخميس يونيو 10, 2010 11:50 am

رباعيه الاسكندريه هي اهم اعمال durrell واحدي روايات تلك الرباعيه balthazar ، انا حبيت اجيبلكم ملخص للرباعيه كلها علشان تبقي الفكره كامله حاضره في ذهننا

Justine. A young Anglo-Irish writer, L. G. Darley, was reflecting on his life in Alexandria, Egypt, around the time of World War II, and on his three great loves: Melissa, Justine, and Clea. Darley resided on a Greek island and was writing and gaining perspective on his love affairs.
He first recalled Melissa, a poor cabaret dancer who sometimes engaged in prostitution. They had begun their love affair as "fellow bankrupts": He was a writer who could not write and she, a dancer with no talent. They had nothing in common, except that they had both been through Alexandria’s "winepress of love."
While living with Melissa, Darley met his second great love, Justine, who attended one of his lectures on Alexandria’s famous poet, Constantine Cavafy. Justine, "solitary student of the passions and the arts," was a modern incarnation of Cleopatra. She captivated men with her esoteric searchings into the nature of knowledge and with her magnificent body. After the lecture, Justine invited Darley to her home, so that he could meet her husband, Nessim, a fabulously wealthy Coptic banker, who also shared in her metaphysical speculations.
Although Darley respected Nessim, he could not refrain from falling into an affair with Justine. She ruled his mind to such an extent that Darley sought insight into her nature from the novel Moeurs, written by Justine’s ex-husband, Arnauti. In Moeurs, Arnauti had created an emotionally complex character like Justine, who had been sexually abused by an uncle. Arnauti failed to unravel Justine’s secrets and Darley, too, was tormented by the decline in Justine’s affections and by his belief that Nessim had learned of the affair. Tensions reached a climax at a duck shoot that Nessim arranged at Lake Mareotis. Darley feared that he would be murdered by the jealous husband. Instead, another body was found floating in the lake. The corpse turned out to be Capodistria, the relative who had abused Justine. When the hunters returned to shore, they discovered that Justine had fled. Darley felt as if the whole city had crashed around about his ears. Later, Darley heard through Clea that Justine was working on a Jewish kibbutz in Palestine and that Capodistria was still alive.
Darley took a job teaching English at a school in Upper Egypt for two years and kept in only limited contact with Melissa, who was in a clinic trying to cure her tuberculosis. Melissa died before Darley could see her for a last time. He agreed to adopt her child, who was the outcome of Melissa’s brief liaison with Nessim after Justine’s departure.
By the end of the novel, Darley had drawn closer to Clea, a lovely artist who was recovering from a lesbian affair with Justine. Together Clea and Darley analyzed the events that had transpired, recalling the wisdom of their enigmatic literary friend, Percy Pursewarden, who had recently committed suicide.
Balthazar. On the Greek island, Darley completed his manuscript, presumably Justine, and mailed it to his friend, Balthazar. Balthazar knew the secrets of his fellow Alexandrians. After reading Darley’s book, Balthazar traveled to the island to set Darley straight and present him with his own commentary—the Interlinear—penned between the lines of Darley’s manuscript. The Interlinear provided Darley with new information regarding the characters about whom he had written. One revelation was that Justine’s true love was Pursewarden. Darley was stunned. He was forced to take a new perspective on his reality, an essential task for one who aspired to be a writer. After Balthazar departed, Darley picked up an old photograph and stared at the images of his friends. He was ready to begin the torturous process of reassessment by examining the many facets of his friends’ personalities.
There was a wild carnival attended by Narouz Hosnani, Nessim’s brother. Narouz, a rough-hewn religious fanatic, managed the family’s country estate. He attended the carnival because he hoped to see his great secret love, Clea, who loathed him. Instead, he murdered a man, in the guise of Justine, who had made lecherous advances to him.
This volume closes with a letter that Pursewarden wrote to Clea just before his suicide. He proposed "a new way of living with joy" and called for relationships based on loving-kindness.
Mountolive. The British ambassador to Egypt was David Mountolive. The omniscient narrator chronicled Mountolive’s life—how he began his diplomatic career in Egypt as a guest at the Hosnani estate and rose through the ranks to become ambassador. The Hosnanis, particularly Leila, Nessim and Narouz’s mother, gave the young Mountolive his education in Egyptian mores. Mountolive fell in love with Leila and carried on a passionate affair with her out of sight of her disabled husband. When he was posted elsewhere, they stayed in touch through letters. With the passage of years their ardor faded. Their meeting, after Mountolive had been appointed ambassador, was a disaster. He was repulsed by how much she had aged, and she was disappointed in his lack of character.
More knowledge was gained regarding Justine’s true affections. She was in fact Nessim’s devoted wife. She shared Nessim’s political goal: to conspire against British interests in Palestine. She became involved with Darley and Pursewarden, both minor functionaries in the British legation, in order to spy for Nessim. The plot though fell apart when Melissa inadvertently stumbled onto its details and informed Pursewarden during the one night of passion they shared. He, in turn, faced a dilemma, torn between his friendship with Nessim and his official duties. His suicide appeared to be a way out of the quandary; before dying he let both Nessim and Mountolive know that he had uncovered the conspiracy.
Retribution arrived swiftly. Nessim had been bribing the minister of the interior, Memlik, to overlook his activities; but, learning of the plot, Mountolive forced Memlik to suppress it. Memlik decided to spare Nessim and sent his agents to kill the other leader, Nessim’s fanatical brother, Narouz. Narouz suffered an agonizing death. His last request was to see Clea again. She reluctantly went to his deathbed, but arrived too late.
Clea. Darley left his island retreat to return to Alexandria and was nervous about seeing Justine again. She was much changed. The collapse of the conspiracy had made her a recluse, and a slight stroke had diminished her beauty. Darley realized he had grown beyond her narcissistic type of loving. He was more in tune with the gentle Clea, who, like him, was struggling to become an artist. Clea and Darley began a love affair amid the shelling of World War II.
Inexplicably, Clea and Darley drifted apart. They decided to separate, but, before doing so, they went on one last excursion. Accompanied by Balthazar, they traveled by boat to a nearby island. As Clea was swimming underwater, Balthazar accidentally released a harpoon which went through Clea’s hand and pinned her underwater. Darley sprang to save Clea’s life by hacking off her hand.
Although the two separated, they seemed likely to reunite. Both resolved their artistic problems: Darley was able to start writing and Clea was painting extraordinary paintings with her artificial hand. She wrote to Darley that she was "serene and happy, a real human being, an artist at last." Darley too felt as if "the whole universe" had given him "a nudge."
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The Alexandria Quartet
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