The Revolt of Aphrodite Summary
Lawrence Durrell

Everything you need to understand or teach The Revolt of Aphrodite by Lawrence Durrell.

  • The Revolt of Aphrodite Summary & Study Guide

The Revolt of Aphrodite Summary

The epigraph for Nunquam, from which Durrell derives the titles of both volumes of The Revolt of Aphrodite, is taken from The Satyricon of Petronius: "Aut tunc, aut nunquam." Translated in the epigraph as "It was then or never," and elsewhere by Durrell in the familiar it's-now-or-never formulation, this motif points to a network of related themes, inextricably bound up with each other, which may be stated simply as choice, freedom, enslavement, and contractual obligation. There is, as Durrell notes in his afterword to Nunquam, no mystery in the epigraph from Petronius: "It's always now or never — since we are human and enjoy the fatality of choice. Indeed the moment of choice is always now." This necessity of choice and fatality of choice, together with the consequences thereof, constitutes the principal theme of the work.

Felix Charlock, the narrator and central character, chooses to join "the firm...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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