Fait, Accompli – The Doppelgänger in George Alexander’s Mortal Divide

Dimitris Vardoulakis

Abstract


George, the hero of Mortal Divide, is in the throes of a middle-life crisis: “I was pushingforty and forty was pushing back.”1In desperate need of solace, he goes to Perth, the placewhere his immigrant father lived and died. Meanwhile in Sydney, his wife Alys and hisdaughter Toto are facing their own dilemmas: Alys because of a lesbian affair with Zoë,her husband’s ex-girlfriend, Toto because of her teenage amorewith Snake. The familytension is recorded in George’s telephone calls to Alys and his letters to Toto. Eventually, prompted by his analyst, Dr Nemerov’s advice, George embarks on a journey to Egypt andGreece in search of his ancestral roots.2After a number of ‘metaphysical’ adventures,George returns to Sydney, where Alys announces that she is pregnant and Toto readsfairy-tales to welcome him. This is not quite a happy-ending but, at least George seems tohave emerged intact from his nightmare.

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