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Lawrence Durrell

(1912 - 1990 / Nepal)

Quotations

  • ''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.
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  • ''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).
  • ''It's only with great vulgarity that you can achieve real refinement, only out of bawdry that you can get tenderness.''
    Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), British author. Interview in Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963).
  • ''For us artists there waits the joyous compromise through art with all that wounded or defeated us in daily life; in this way, not to evade destiny, as the ordinary people try to do, but to fulfil it in its true potential—the imagination.''
    Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), British author. Justine, pt. 1 (1957).
  • ''Guilt always hurries towards its complement, punishment; only there does its satisfaction lie.''
    Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), British author. Justine, pt. 3 (1957).
  • ''A woman's best love letters are always written to the man she is betraying.''
    Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), British author. Justine, in Clea, pt. 1, ch. 4 (1960).
  • ''Perhaps our only sickness is to desire a truth which we cannot bear rather than to rest content with the fictions we manufacture out of each other.''
    Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), British author. Justine, in Clea, ch. 1, sct. 3 (1960).

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Strip-tease

Soft toys that make to seem girls
In cool whitewash with two coral
Valves of lip printing each others' grease ...
A clockwork Cupid's bow. Increase!
Their cherry-ripe hullo brims the open purse
Of eyes washed white by the marmoreal light;
So swaying as if on pyres they go
About the buried business of the night,
Cold witches of the elementary tease

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