Alexandria: City of Memory

Alexandria City of Memory This book is a literary social and political portrait of Alexandria at a high point of its history Drawing on diaries letters and interviews Michael Haag recovers the lost life of the city its c

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  • Title: Alexandria: City of Memory
  • Author: Michael Haag
  • ISBN: 9780300104158
  • Page: 269
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This book is a literary, social, and political portrait of Alexandria at a high point of its history Drawing on diaries, letters, and interviews, Michael Haag recovers the lost life of the city, its cosmopolitan inhabitants, and its literary characters.Located on the coast of Africa yet rich in historical associations with Western civilization, Alexandria was home to an eThis book is a literary, social, and political portrait of Alexandria at a high point of its history Drawing on diaries, letters, and interviews, Michael Haag recovers the lost life of the city, its cosmopolitan inhabitants, and its literary characters.Located on the coast of Africa yet rich in historical associations with Western civilization, Alexandria was home to an exotic variety of people whose cosmopolitan families had long been rooted in the commerce and the culture of the entire Mediterranean world.Alexandria famously excited the imaginations of writers, and Haag folds intimate accounts of E M Forster, Greek poet Constantine Cavafy, and Lawrence Durrell into the story of its inhabitants He recounts the city s experience of the two world wars and explores the communities that gave Alexandria its unique flavor the Greek, the Italian, and the Jewish The book deftly harnesses the sexual and emotional charge of cosmopolitan life in this extraordinary city, and highlights the social and political changes over the decades that finally led to Nasser s Egypt.

    One thought on “Alexandria: City of Memory”

    1. This book is not about the city of Alexandria, but the lives of three authors who lived there, Constantine Cavafy, E.M. Forster, and Lawrence Durrell--the first two homosexuals. No, I have no problem with Mr. Haag--or anyone for that matter--writing about homosexuals who lived in Alexandria in the beginning of the XX Century--or anywhere and any time, for that matter. My problem is that the title implies the book is about the CITY, when it is about a few people who lived there and their sexual p [...]

    2. E. M. Forster arrived in Alexandria in 1915. Lawrence Durrel left in 1945. The years in between are the concern of Michael Haag's book Alexandria: City of Memory. For the literary figures Haag writes about, it became city of love, too. Not only did they find strong individual muses, the city itself acted as muse to them and to one other, C. P. Cavafy, already, when Forster arrived, in full bloom as poet of the historical, exotic, and hauntingly erotic atmosphere permeating the streets and neighb [...]

    3. A literary walk with this colourful and cosmopolitan ancient lady on the shores of the Mediterranean, whose past glories are long faded into the setting sun of empires, it's peoples and their changing souls.

    4. I reviewed this book on my blog back in 2004, and Michael Haag's recent book Alexandria: City of Memory remains a book I'm fond of. Not only is it a composite biography of the great writers Forster, Cavafy, and Durrell in the light of their experiences in the Egyptian metropolis of Alexandria, but it is an ambitious sociological and historical study of Alexandria during its cosmopolitan period. Haag cites two French-language titles, Alexandrie entre deux mondes (edited by Robert Ilbert, publishe [...]

    5. Been there, done that! When I was in Alexandria the book followed me No special justification is needed! A magnificent book.-

    6. Of the triumvirate of Alexandrian literary giants of the early twentieth century - Constantine Cavafy, E. M. Forster, and Lawrence Durrell - Cavafy is perhaps the guardian spirit. His poetry provides the capstone to Forster's Alexandria: A History and a Guide, and is present both as invoked persona ("the old poet of the city") and fictionalized character (Balthazar) in Durrell's Alexandria Quartet. Cavafy's presence also haunts Michael Haag's evocative Alexandria: City of Memory. Though the book [...]

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