[ilds] She was reading Justine that spring

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Wed Apr 30 09:28:46 PDT 2008


Olga Broumas
Domesticity 
[excerpted from /Black Holes/, /Black Stockings/ (1985)]

***


She was reading /Justine  /that spring, and slowly, as she began to
stop fantasizing the manner in which her success would come to
her, understood Durrell marking insecurity a haunting quality.
Slowly because unpracticed; carefully, in that she saw how even a
great artist who postulates a narrator different from himself
reveals a political faux pas; she knew Justine had been overly
prized for her shrewdness---not by possessing it but by manip-
ulating her lack. She was becoming the woman she wanted to
know. Was proud; did not cling to it. Braided in the Swedish
style her hair revealed a specific great beauty; circled by thick
coils, she became surprisingly boyish; was not, was languid and
controlled; passionate slowly like her reading, thorough, light.
Under the fig tree, which gave out onto a ridge of pine and
olive, you photographed her self-consciousness and then, finally,
directly, her gaze, large, Mediterranean dark, blue. Without
birds, without their whistling over the music of the creek, though
she laughed like a flute none would have caught it, clung to it,
played it back much later in other southern but never so fair, fair
even but never so perfumed, countries.

___

-- 
**********************
Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu
**********************

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