Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Alexandria, a city at once sacred and profane; between Theocritus, Plotinus, and the Septagint one moves on intermediate levels which are those of race as much as anything - like saying Copt, Greek and Jew or Moslem, Turk and Armenian... Am I wrong? These are the slow accretions of time itself on place. Just as life on the individual face lays down, wash by successive wash, the wrinkles of experiences in which laughter and tears are utterly indistinguable. Warm casts of experience on the sands of life...' So writes my friend, and he is right; for the Interlinear now raises for me much more than the problem of objective 'truth to life', or if you like 'to fiction'. It raises, as life itself does - whether one make or takes it - the harder-grained question of form. How then am I to manipulate this mass of crystalized data in order to work out the meaning of it and so give a coherent picture of this impossible city of love and obscenity?
-from Lawrence Durrell's Balthazar

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