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Da Capo - Lena Meszaros

(Work in progress) For the Literary Allusions theme,I chose the novel of the British writer Lawrence Durrell The Alexandria Quartet. It is a tetralogy, published between 1957 and 1960. The Quartet's first three books offer the same sequence of events through several points of view, allowing individual perspectives of a single set of events and characters in Alexandria, Egypt, before and during the Second World War. The fourth book is set six years later.

In the Quartet, Durrell tried to unite Eastern and Western metaphysics, building on Einstein's theory of relativity and Freud's similar concept of stable personalities, yielding a new concept of reality. What has always fascinated me about this novel is the reality we give to our lives, when it can turn out to be an illusion.

In the quilt, the city (Alexandria) is not depicted in its reality, but as a mythical place. Behind closed doors and windows, secrets are well kept. Only one window is open: that of the central character, who builds this city in his imagination, straight out of his head (below).

It is silk painted in Byzantine, Oriental mosaics. The lower part is paper pieced, the upper part is appliqué. I searched long for a medium to evoke a city "in suspense". In the end, I opted for a green-gold organza, laid directly on the fleece to create a transparent, nebulous effect.

Finally, the title is "Da Capo", a character from the novel, but also a musical expression for "to begin again". In the first three novels, the characters recount the same events, but experience them very differently. In fact, what we experience will always be our story, our point of view, our perception of the truth.

And you can always start again, but you'll never get there "al fine".

As this quilt, created in 1998, since fallen to pieces and finally recycled.

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