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  • Writer's pictureRony Alfandary

גלות והתגלות - עיון פסיכואנליטי ביצירתו של לורנס דארל "רביעיית אלכסנדריה" (Hebrew)

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

Exile and Return: a Psychoanalytic Study of Lawrence Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet

The book was published in 2016 by Carmel Publishers, Israel. It ithe first study in Hebrew of Durrell's work.

“You are writing a book about Lawrence Durrell? Really? Does anyone know who he was? Does anyone remember him?” Such were the customary responses to the writing of this book.

More so, as the first edition of the book was written in Hebrew and was only circulated in Israel, the disbelief was even greater. It is hard to find copies of his books in most bookshops in England, which some would say could be regarded as his cultural homeland. This state of affairs is perhaps the lot of most writers especially in the period immediately following their death and therefore perhaps does not even merit mention. Nevertheless, the mere mention of the term homeland in reference to the origins of Lawrence George Durrell (1912-1990) is a complex issue which I will discuss in subsequent chapters. Suffice to say at this point that Durrell, whose birthplace was India, where he was born to colonial Anglo-Indian parents, felt ill-at-ease in England and continued to have a very divided and ambivalent relation towards a-place-he-could-call-home. At best, one could say that Durrell felt really at home in the contradictory sense implied by the German word, Heimlich. This term, translated as the uncanny, became central in Western culture since it was interpreted by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and denotes both homeliness and its opposite, strangeness. As Freud writes in his 1919 essay: “Heimlich is a word the meaning of which develops in the direction of ambivalence, until it finally coincides with its opposite, unheimlich. Unheimlich is in some way or other a sub-species of Heimlich. Let us bear this discovery in mind, though we cannot yet rightly understand it.” Based upon his interpretation of a short story by the Prussian author E.T.A. Hoffman (1776-1822), Freud concluded that we tend to experience the Heimlich sensation when we are not sure whether what we see is alive or dead, real or artificial. He suggested that that feeling originates from an early stage in the development of the infant when he invents a duplicate sense of himself in order to deal with terrifying events that he cannot integrate or understand with his budding rational faculties. The duplicate sense of self, later finding an echo in the term Doppelgänger, loses it functionality as we mature, but leaves its trace in the unconscious layers of our mind. Later in life, when we encounter complexities and ambivalences in our relation to, and perception of, the world around us, we are linked, according to Freud, to that relic in our minds and experience the Heimlich sensation. The notions of the Heimlich, belonging and home are central to my study and will be discussed in depth in later chapters.

צעיר אנגלי נקלע למבוך אנושי המטלטל אותו בין תהומות של ייאוש לפסגות של אושר, כשהוא נקרע בין פרשיות אהבה לתככים פוליטיים, הנוגעים גם לפעילותה של המחתרת היהודית בפלסטינה של תחילת שנות ה-40 של המאה הקודמת.

רביעיית אלכסנדריה נחשבת לאחת מיצירות המופת של הספרות המערבית. מחברה, הסופר והמשורר הגולה לורנס דארל, שאף היה מועמד לפרס נובל, בילה את חייו בחיפוש אחרי מולדת בדיונית.

במסע אינטלקטואלי מרתק, ד"ר רוני אלפנדרי מעניק לספר זה פרשנות פסיכואנליטית חדשנית, חושף את הקשרים הסבוכים שבין היסודות הביוגראפיים ליסודות הבדיוניים המניעים את היצירה הגדולה הזאת, ומראה שבסופו של דבר – מולדתו האמיתית של דארל הייתה הכתיבה עצמה, שרק בה הגלות הופכת להתגלות.

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