Forgotten Classics: The Dark Labyrinth (1947) by Lawrence Durrell

  An infrequent feature on classic books forgotten to the mists of time. The name Lawrence Durrell is not a name mentioned with any frequency these days, but his work deserves a revival.  The Dark Labyrinth, published in 1947, begins with a simple enough premise: a small group of tourists visits a Cretan labyrinth.  In the ensuing narrative, the group gets lost with certain members getting rescued while others never return.  With this basic plot, Durrell spins a tale chock full of philosophical rumination, surgical precision social satire, and capacious character development.  The foredoomed tour group includes a failed artist, … Continue reading Forgotten Classics: The Dark Labyrinth (1947) by Lawrence Durrell

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Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder (1945) by Evelyn Waugh

In Samuel Beckett’s play, Waiting for Godot, Pozzo remarks, “They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.”  Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh represents one of those lights gleaming in the darkness between the grave of the First World War and the impending night of the Second.  The novel, published in 1945, is the reminiscence of Captain Charles Ryder.  The story opens with Captain Ryder’s Army Company transferring to Castle Marchmain, an estate all too familiar to him.  Since he looks back on the past, a heady mix of nostalgia and satire … Continue reading Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder (1945) by Evelyn Waugh

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