Author(s): Aba-Carina Pârlog
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti
Keywords: post-Cartesian body; Lawrence Durrell

Summary/Abstract: The paper focuses on the consumed, temporarily consumed and stressed-out post- Cartesian bodies of the characters in The Alexandria Quartet, by Lawrence Durrell. They are analysed from distinct perspectives according to the situation in which they are forced to live by particular circumstances. The post-Cartesian (p-C) body which gains contour under Durrell’s pen is a body in which the physical and mental substances are interdependent and in which both the sensual and the rational components have equal importance. Durrell succeeds in building a consumed p-C body that has been gradually destroyed from various reasons, ranging from personal feelings to daily duties and work and from a stifling atmosphere to severe illnesses. It is a p-C body that no longer functions properly, a p-C body whose powers have diminished considerably and which is looked down on and pitied by the people around. The modern crisis of value and judgment can be read on the characters’ post- Cartesian bodies, in the manner in which they choose to live their lives and in the consequences this has upon their bodies. They deal with the same problems people of our century deal with, thus it can be considered a modern fight from which unfortunately most of them come out losers. Melissa is one of the characters that suffer the most, destroying her body as she is in search of a better life using methods harmful to herself. She is a typical example of a consumed post-Cartesian body. Leila and Nessim, mother and son, have occasional crises, which are the cause of their temporarily consumed post-Cartesian bodies. Last, but not least, Justine and Darley suffer for distinct reasons and this drains their energy causing a stressed-out post-Cartesian body to appear.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 143-148
  • Page Count: 6
  • Language: English