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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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

[Hata Bildir]