Sunday, 18 September 2011


'Now she yawned and lit a cigarette; and sitting up in bed clasped her slim ankles with her hands; reciting slowly, wryly, those marvellous lines of the old Greek poet about a love affair long since past - they are lost in English. And hearing her speak his lines, touching every syllable of the thoughtful ironic Greek with tenderness, I felt once more the strange equivocal power of the city - its flat alluvial landscape and exhausted airs - and knew her for a true child of Alexandria; which is neither Greek, Syrian or Egyptian, but a hybrid; a joint.'

The Alexandria Quartet/Justine, Lawrence Durrell.

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