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Lawrence Durrell (1912 – 1990)


Considered a British novelist, poet, dramatist and travel writer, even though it was discovered posthumously that he never actually held British citizenship.
Lawrence Durrell
Lovers can find nothing to say to each other that has not been said and unsaid a thousand times over. Kisses were invented to translate such nothings into wounds (I)
Durrell quotes
Our common actions in reality are simply the sackcloth covering which hides the cloth-of-gold - the meaning of the pattern. 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.
Durrell
His profession [ diplomacy] - offered him something like a long Jesuitical training in self-deception which enabled him to present an ever more highly polished surface to the world without deepening his human experience [-] for he lived surrounded by his ambitious and sycophantic fellows who taught him only how to excel in forms of address, and the elaborate kindnesses which, in pleasing, pave the way to advancement. (II)




Durrell Lawrence quotes
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.
Durrell Lawrence
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 quotes
here was Kenilworth now heading the new department concerned with Personnel [-] one of those blank administrative constructs which offered no openings into the world of policy. A dead end. [-] he would soon develop the negative powers of obstruction which always derive from a sense of failure. (IV)
Lawrence Durrell
It's unthinkable not to love — you'd have a severe nervous breakdown. Or you'd have to be Philip Larkin.
Durrell Lawrence quotes
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.
Durrell
Guilt always hurries towards its complement, punishment; only there does its satisfaction lie.
Durrell Lawrence
No one can go on being a rebel too long without turning into an autocrat.
Lawrence Durrell
A city becomes a world when one loves one of its inhabitants.




Lawrence Durrell quotes
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
Everyone loathes his own country and countrymen if he is any sort of artist.
Durrell quotes
Then he saw that she was blind, her face slightly upcast to her companion's in the manner of those whose expressions never fully attain their target - the eyes of another. (II)
Durrell Lawrence
Brazil is bigger than Europe, wilder than Africa, and weirder than Baffin Land.
Durrell Lawrence quotes
It's only with great vulgarity that you can achieve real refinement, only out of bawdry that you can get tenderness.
Lawrence Durrell
I think often, and never without a certain fear of Nessim's love for Justine. [-] It coloured his unhappiness with a kind of ecstasy [-] Yet one touch of humour would have saved him from such dreadful comprehensive suffering.
Lawrence Durrell quotes
Old age is an insult. It's like being smacked.
Lawrence Durrell
A woman's best love letters are always written to the man she is betraying.
Durrell Lawrence
Subconsciously he knew too, that the oriental woman is not a sensualist in the European sense; there is nothing mawkish in her constitution. Her true obsessions are power, politics and possessions - however much she might deny it. The sex ticks on in the mind, but its motions are warmed by the kinetic brutalities of money. (X)


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