Analysis Of The Racist Discourse In Lawrence Durrell's Justine
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Noha Amr Ali Elfeqi
Professor Sahar Hamouda
The Racist Discourse in Lawrence Durrell’s Justine
In his essay “An Image of Africa”, Chinua Achebe criticizes the white colonizer and his depiction of Africa as “"the other world," the antithesis of Europe and therefore of civilization” Similarly, Lawrence Durrell sees the beauty of Alexandria only in what is European. As Alexandria is losing its European essence gradually and turning more Arab, Durrell laments the city as the “blacks” start “leaking into the European quarters”. Although Achebe wrote this essay criticizing Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness that was published fifty-eight years before Justine, the white man’s view of “the other” is always the same. Durrell’s attempt to segregate what he sees as the savagery and ugliness of Arabs and Africans, and the culture and grace of Europeans, is through a discourse that is charged with blatant racism and white-supremacy.
Despite his claim in the first page of the book that the characters are fictional but only the city is real, in an interview in 1977, when asked if the Alexandria in the Quartet is not the real Alexandria, Durrell admits:
“Yes – it’s terrible. I keep getting letters from people asking for their money back because they can 't find it. Joyce on Dublin is relatively exact, but they can 't find my Alexandria because it never existed. I reconstructed it like a child who reconstructs by ear. I sat in the very cafes just empty of the