Treasure Island

Lawrence Durrell

(1912 - 1990 / Nepal)

Quotations

  • ''Now stiff on a pillar with a phallic air
    Nelson stylites in Trafalgar Square
    Reminds the British what once they were.''
    Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), British author. A Ballad of the Good Lord Nelson.
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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).
  • ''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).

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Acropolis

The soft quem quam will be Scops the Owl
conjugation of nouns, a line of enquiry,
powdery stubble of the socratic prison
laurels crack like parchments in the wind.
who walks here in the violet dust at night
by the tower of the winds and water-clocks?
tapers smoke upon open coffins
surely the shattered pitchers must one day
revive in the gush of marble breathing up?

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