[ilds] Michael V. Diboll

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Sun Feb 1 11:24:44 PST 2015

I’ve about finished reading Diboll’s Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet in Its Egyptian Contexts (2004) and am quite impressed with the book, although it has major flaws (stylistic, grammatical, scholarly).  Diboll’s main argument provides a historical background to the Quartet and does great justice to Durrell’s depth of understanding re the British and Egyptian socio-political situation.  His analysis of the Wafd (the nationalist/liberal party in Egypt, 1919-52) and the David Mountolive-Leila Hosnani “allegory” is persuasive.  I’m less enthusiastic about Diboll’s analogy between Durrell’s “African Darkenss” and Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” but this is a matter of interpretation and preference.  I like the way Diboll deals with Said’s “Orientalism” in reference to the Quartet.  I’d also like to see the book reissued as a revised edition.  The argument, however, is repetitious and needs to be reduced by perhaps a quarter or more.  I highly recommend the book.  It certainly deserves recognition and a wide audience.

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