Lawrence Durrell

(1912 - 1990 / Nepal)

Lawrence Durrell
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Durrell was born, in Nepal, at the foot of the Himalayas.
He went to school in England at the age of twelve and, after attending preparatory schools and subsequently failing the entrance exam for Cambridge on multiple occasions, played in jazz clubs in London for a time. It was during this period that he met Nancy Myers, who was to be his first wife. He and she attempted several ventures in England before moving at the same time as Durrell's family to Corfu (as recounted rather amusingly, if somewhat inaccurately, in Gerald Durrell's autobiographical My Family and other Animals, Birds, Beasts and Relatives, and Fauna and Family, and in more Lawrentian style in Prospero's Cell). ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Journeys, like artists, are born and not made. A thousand differing circumstances contribute to them, few of them willed or determined by the will—whatever we may think.''
    Lawrence Durrell (1914-1991), British author. Bitter Lemons, "Towards an Eastern Landfall," (1957). Opening words.
  • ''Music was invented to confirm human loneliness.''
    Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), British author. Clea, in Clea, ch. 1, sct. 4 (1960).
  • ''There are only three things to be done with a woman. You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature.''
    Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), British author. Clea, in Justine, pt. 1 (1957).
  • ''The appalling thing is the degree of charity women are capable of. You see it all the time ... love lavished on absolute fools. Love's a charity ward, you know.''
    Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), British author. interview in Observer (London, Nov. 11, 1990).
  • ''It's unthinkable not to love—you'd have a severe nervous breakdown. Or you'd have to be Philip Larkin.''
    Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), British author. Interview in Observer (London, November 11, 1990).
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Best Poem of Lawrence Durrell

This Unimportant Morning

This unimportant morning
Something goes singing where
The capes turn over on their sides
And the warm Adriatic rides
Her blue and sun washing
At the edge of the world and its brilliant cliffs.

Day rings in the higher airs
Pure with cicadas, and slowing
Like a pulse to smoke from farms,

Extinguished in the exhausted earth,
Unclenching like a fist and going.

Trees fume, cool, pour - and overflowing
Unstretch the feathers of birds and shake
Carpets from windows, brush with dew
The up-and-doing: and young lovers now
Their little ...

Read the full of This Unimportant Morning

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