Justine is a fourth novel by a British poet of considerable stature. In general, it is a quadrangular love story involving...

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JUSTINE

Justine is a fourth novel by a British poet of considerable stature. In general, it is a quadrangular love story involving its Irish narrator who is an English teacher in Alexandria, Mellisa- a tubercular cafe dancer and the narrator's mistress, Nessim- a very rich Alexandrian, and Justine- his wife- who is looking for some absolutes in life through a variety of sexual experience and who, though she loves her husband, has an intense affair with the narrator. And- as important as any of the lovers -- the city of Alexandria itself where the warring forces of mind, body and spirit in the individuals are reflected on a much larger screen. Sex is the key to this complex novel- but in spite of its plot (quite a suspenseful one) it is not aimed at the market of say The Deer Park. Its style is poetic, overwhelmingly though not stuffily learned, allusive and intellectual. Its structure follows no chronological or conventional order. Instead the narrator tells his story with particularly clear and brilliant moments, people, feelings, scenes that he remembers and through diaries, journals and a novel by Justine's first husband. The whole thing builds into a mosaic of beauty and a mood picture of considerable power. It should get important literary reviews- as it did in England- and have a considerable sale among knowing readers.

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 1957

ISBN: 0140153195

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1957