Literary Birthday – 27 February – Lawrence Durrell

Lawrence Durrell was born 27 February 1912 and died 7 November 1990.


  1. Does not everything depend on our interpretation of the silence around us?
  2. I don’t believe one reads to escape reality. A person reads to confirm a reality he knows is there, but which he has not experienced.
  3. A city becomes a world when one loves one of its inhabitants.
  4. These are the moments which are not calculable, and cannot be assessed in words; they live on in the solution of memory, like wonderful creatures, unique of their own kind, dredged up from the floors of some unexplored ocean.
  5. We are all hunting for rational reasons for believing in the absurd.
  6. 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.
  7. The sense of truth no matter how subjective is necessary for the experience of beauty.
  8. Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.
  9. The heaviest impact of the work of art is in the guts. Art does not reason. It manhandles you and changes you.
  10. Music is only love looking for words.

Lawrence Durrell was an expatriate British novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer. His most famous work is The Alexandria Quartet, which was ranked by the Modern Library as among the greatest works of English literature. The middle novel of The Avignon Quintet, Constance, or Solitary Practices, was nominated for the 1982 Booker Prize. He also penned the celebrated travel memoir Bitter Lemons of Cyprus, which won the Duff Cooper Prize. By the end of the 20th century, Durrell was one of the most famous writers in England. He lived all over the world and married four times.

Source for photograph: Boris Carmi /Meitar Collection / National Library of Israel / The Pritzker Family National Photography Collection, CC BY 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 26th February 2018