n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - The flâneuse and the City as uncanny home in Lawrence Durrell's : original research

Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2279



The concept of the home is not something that can be readily associated with Lawrence Durrell's . Generally, the word home is defined as a place where one lives, a house or dwelling. The idea of home is associated with the architectural construct of the house, as both a place and a space. With this in mind, I approach the conceptualisation of the house as representative of safety and happy remembrance from a somewhat different premise, exploring Durrell's representation of Alexandria as an enclosing womb-like home that voraciously consumes her inhabitants. Although Durrell's Alexandria has been considered by scholars from many angles, I propose my position represents a rather different approach to the manner in which the city has previously been examined. Durrell's city, as uncanny home, will be shown to create her residents as fragments of her own consciousness, and this is particularly true of the character Justine. The narrator Darley's memories of Justine moving through the streets of the city evoke her in the guise of a flâneuse and this flânerie, I go on to suggest, establishes a symbiosis between herself and the city, setting up an interplay through which Justine becomes the proxy for the city as unhomely home.

Die begrip tuiste is nie iets wat geredelik met deur Lawrence Durrell vereenselwig kan word nie. Gewoonlik word die woord tuiste gedefinieer as 'n plek waar 'n mens bly, 'n huis of 'n woning. Die idee van tuiste word vereenselwig met die boukundige konstruk van die huis, as sowel 'n plek as 'n ruimte. Gedagtig hieraan benader ek die konseptualisering van die huis as verteenwoordigend van veiligheid en geluk vanuit 'n ietwat ander hoek. Ek ondersoek Durrell se uitbeelding van Alexandria as 'n inperkende soort baarmoeder van 'n tuiste wat haar bewoners met groot gulsigheid verorber. Hoewel akademici Durrell se Alexandria reeds uit talle hoeke benader het, voer ek aan dat my posisie'n nuwe blik werp op die uitbeelding van die stad. Ek sal aantoon dat Durrell se stad as geheimsinnige tuiste haar inwoners tot stand bring as brokstukke van haar eie bewussyn. Dit is veral merkbaar in die geval van die karakter Justine. Die herinneringe wat die verteller Darley het van hoe Justine deur die stad beweeg roep haar op in die gedaante van 'n flâneuse. Ek argumenteer verder dat hierdie flânerie 'n simbiose tussen haar en die stad tot stand bring. Dit skep dan 'n wisselwerking waardeur Justine die gevolmagtigde word van die stad as geheimsinnige tuiste.

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