73 Lawrence Durrell Quotes from Expatriate British Novelist

Lawrence Durrell, born in 1912 to British parents in India, moved to England for education, later living in Greece, Egypt and France.

He authored The Alexandria Quartet, acclaimed 20th-century novels, known for innovative structure, psychological depth and exploration of reality and sexuality.

His work reflects Einstein and Freud’s theories, with vivid landscapes and philosophical ideas contrasted through various characters.

Influenced by Henry Miller, Durrell also wrote The Black Book, criticizing English society.

His extensive writings, including poems and other novels, draw from ancient Greek and Renaissance traditions, seamlessly integrating past mythology with present awareness, humor and sorrow.

Below are some of the top quotes by Lawrence Durrell.

Best Lawrence Durrell Quotes


Music was invented to confirm human loneliness. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


We are all hunting for rational reasons for believing in the absurd. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


Music is only love looking for words. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


We should tackle reality in a slightly jokey way, otherwise we miss its point. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


Gamblers and lovers really play to lose. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Prohibitions create the desire they were intended to cure. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Famous Lawrence Durrell Quotes

No one can go on being a rebel too long without turning into an autocrat. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


Life is more complicated than we think, yet far simpler than anyone dares to imagine. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

I am just a refugee from the long slow toothache of English life. It is terrible to love life so much you can hardly breathe! ~ Lawrence Durrell.

How grudging memory is, and how bitterly she clutches the raw material of her daily work. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


Sorrow is implicit in love as gravitation is implicit in mass. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Our inventions mirror our secret wishes. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

It is not peace we seek but meaning. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Brazil is bigger than Europe, wilder than Africa, and weirder than Baffin Land. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Like all young men I set out to be a genius, but mercifully laughter intervened. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


I suppose the secret of his success is in his tremendous idleness which almost approaches the supernatural. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

But there are more than five sexes and only demotic Greek seems to distinguish among them. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

But I love to feel events overlapping each other, crawling over one another like wet crabs in a basket. ~ 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. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


Of women, the most we can say, not being Frenchmen, is that they are burrowing animals. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

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.

The memory of man is as old as misfortune. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Top Lawrence Durrell Quotes

Who invented the human heart, I wonder? Tell me, and then show me the place where he was hanged. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


It is not love that is blind, but jealousy. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Now stiff on a pillar with a phallic air nelson stylites in Trafalgar square reminds the British what once they were. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

A diary is the last place to go if you wish to seek the truth about a person. Nobody dares to make the final confession to themselves on paper: or at least, not about love. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

You see, nothing matters except pleasure – which is the opposite of happiness, its tragic part, I expect. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

The cocktail party – as the name itself indicates – was originally invented by dogs. They are simply bottom-sniffings raised to the rank of formal ceremonies. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


I imagine, therefore I belong and am free. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

I’m trying to die correctly, but it’s very difficult, you know. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

We are the children of our landscape; it dictates behavior and even thought in the measure to which we are responsive to it. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Popular Lawrence Durrell Quotes

Poverty is a great cutter-off and riches a great shutter-off. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Youth is the age of despairs. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

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.


Truth is a woman. That is why it is enigmatic. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Shyness has laws you can only give yourself; tragically to those who least understand. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

An idea is like a rare bird which cannot be seen. What one sees is the trembling of the branch it has just left. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

To write a poem is like trying to catch a lizard without its tail falling off. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


A city becomes a world when one loves one of its inhabitants. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

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. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

I have been thinking about the girl I met last night in the mirror: dark on the marble-ivory white: glossy black hair: deep suspiring eyes in which one’s glances sink because they are nervous, curious, turned to sexual curiosity. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

A woman’s best love letters are always written to the man she is betraying. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Guilt always hurries towards its complement, punishment: only there does its satisfaction lie. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Great Lawrence Durrell Quotes

The realization of one’s own death is the point at which one becomes adult. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Science is the poetry of the intellect and poetry the science of the heart’s affections. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Every man is made of clay and diamond, and no woman can nourish both. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Whatever the heart desires, it purchases at the cost of soul. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

He loved the desert because there the wind blew out one’s footsteps like candle flames. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

What are stars but points in the body of God where we insert the healing needles of our terror and longing? ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Somewhere in the heart of experience there is an order and a coherence which we might surprise if we were attentive enough, loving enough, or patient enough. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

He thought and suffered a good deal but he lacked the resolution to dare – the first requisite of a practitioner. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Old age is an insult. It’s like being smacked. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Insightful Lawrence Durrell Quotes

It takes a lot of energy and a lot of neurosis to write a novel. If you were really sensible, you’d do something else. ~ Lawrence Durrell.


Each of our five senses contains an art. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

It is the duty of every patriot to hate his country creatively. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

It only takes one match to ignite a haystack, or one remark to fire a mind. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Life, the raw material, is only lived in potential until the artist deploys it in his work. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

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. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Truth disappears with the telling of it. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

I had become, with the approach of night, once more aware of loneliness and time – those two companions without whom no journey can yield us anything. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Powerful Lawrence Durrell Quotes

All culture corrupts, but French culture corrupts absolutely. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Does not everything depend on our interpretation of the silence around us? ~ Lawrence Durrell.

History is an endless repetition of the wrong way of living. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Life is like a cucumber. One minute it’s in your hand, the next it’s up your ass. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Truth is what most contradicts itself. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

I am quite alone. I am neither happy nor unhappy; I lie suspended like a hair or a feather in the cloudy mixtures of memory. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

God did not create us, nor did He wish us to be created. We are the work of a lesser deity, a demiurge, who wrongly believed himself to be God. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

Art like life is an open secret. ~ Lawrence Durrell.

So these were the 73 top Lawrence Durrell quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Kristin Armstrong quotes and Kareem Abdul Jabbar quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar