Like Durrell's heroine, I am from Egypt, born into a Jewish family with roots in Syria. As I have pondered my own propensity for melancholy and melodrama—two of the traits that define Justine—I have often thought, "Justine, c'est moi." Unlike her, though, I am from Cairo. Each city had its distinctive personality. Yet once upon a time the two had much in common—a European culture and thriving night life, with hedonistic types who wandered through every nightclub and dined in the wee hours. Despite strict moral codes in the different cultures and religions, men and women found ways to come together, and somehow these liaisons seem far more enticing than the ready hookups of our "Sex and the City" culture.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
… Lawrence Durrell's 'Justine': Missing Alexandria, Egypt | By Lucette Lagnado - WSJ.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)