[ilds] Sharp Observations

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Sat May 7 12:04:00 PDT 2011


Hi Ken,

Don Kaczvinsky has done good work on the timeline of the Quartet (and 
Michael Haag adds to it):

Kaczvinsky, Donald P. "When Was Darley in Alexandria? A Chronology for 
The Alexandria Quartet." /Journal of Modern Literature/ 17.4 (1991): 
591-594.

As for Pombal, it is indeed a poignant reminder of the tone of the 
Quartet!  It's certainly not all luxuriance, if it that stands out in 
many readers' memories.

Best,
James

On 07/05/11 11:55 AM, Ken Gammage wrote:
> One quick quote from Clea: “And Pombal says as a joke, ‘Now you are shaving the dead while they are still alive.’”
>
> There are hundreds of sharp observations like this in the Quartet. This one is said by Mnemjian the barber, who is prospering during the war, “…cutting the armies’ hair day and night.”
>
> Evocative writing by LGD. The Quartet is often said to occur during WWII, but Clea places the action of the previous books in the mid-‘30s, wouldn’t you say?
>
> - Ken
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