Lawrence Durrell

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Durrell, Lawrence

(dŭ`rəl, dûr`əl), 1912–90, British author, b. India, of Irish parents. Durrell traveled widely, often serving in diplomatic positions; most of his works are set in exotic locations and convey an extraordinary sense of place. His novel The Black Book (1938) is steeped in an atmosphere of moral decadence. Durrell's masterpiece is The Alexandria Quartet, consisting of Justine (1957), Balthazar (1958), Mountolive (1958), and Clea (1960). Purporting to be a study of the many ramifications of love, the quartet's excellence lies mainly in its technique—its rich, ornamental language, its experiments with point of view, and its evocation of the exotic, frequently bizarre atmosphere of the city of Alexandria, Egypt.

Durrell's later novel sequences include the literary satire of Tunc (1968) and Numquam (1970), and The Avignon Quincunx (1974–85), which brought together his study of southern France and his obsession with multiple perspective. Durrell's diplomatic service is reflected in Bitter Lemons (1957), Esprit de Corps (1958), and Stiff Upper Lip (1959), spoofs of diplomatic life, and in Reflections on a Marine Venus (1953), Prospero's Cell (1960), and Spirit of Place (1969), travel books. Among Durrell's other works are volumes of poetry including The Red Limbo Lingo (1971) and Vega and Other Poems (1973), and the novel Monsieur (1975).


See The Durrell-Miller Letters, 1935–80 (1988), ed. by I. S. MacNiven; biographies by G. Bowker (1997) and I. S. MacNiven (1998); studies by J. Unterecker (1965), G. S. Fraser (1968), and R. Pine (1988).

His brother, Gerald Durrell, 1920–95, English conservationist and author, b. Jamshedpur, India, was noted for his pioneering efforts to have zoos participate in the preservation of endangered species through captive breeding programs. He wrote 37 books, most dealing with animals. His charmingly written works include The Overloaded Ark (1953), the autobiographical My Family and Other Animals (1956), and The Aye Aye and I (1993). He also wrote novels and was involved in radio and television.


See biography by D. Botting (1999).

References in periodicals archive ?
Alexandria' is a word that is a key, opening up the imagination to a vivid dream that brings the ancient past and the more recent future together: and in that dream parade the Pharos-one of the seven wonders of antiquity-the great library, Alexander the Great, Constantine Cavafy and Lawrence Durrell, to whom the city persists as the Capital of Memory.
Lawrence Durrell and Henry Miller: A Private Correspondence.
Reading Orientalism and the Crisis of Epistemology in the Novels of Lawrence Durrell.
The reparative fantasy did not survive in the works of the late modernists Lawrence Durrell and Paul Bowles.
The novelist Lawrence Durrell best illustrates the civilizational importance of olive oil when he writes that "no other products of nature have so much shaped civilizations from remotest antiquity to the present, than olive oil".
El modernismo en la novela inglesa surveys the path it will chart in its introduction, where a further delimitation arises in the definition of la novela inglesa, taken to be that produced either by writers born in the British Isles or by others, such as Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Wyndham Lewis, Jean Rhys and Lawrence Durrell, in contact with the former group.
WHEN LAWRENCE DURRELL MET HENRY MILLER in Patras on the eve of World War II, he was eager to fight for Greece in imitation of Byron, who had died across the water not too far away, in Missolonghi, during the war of independence in the 1820s.
Precisamente, poco antes de que comenzara la Segunda Guerra Mundial, llego Lawrence Durrell a Alejandria.
Lawrence Durrell explained that the city of Alexandria is "neither Greek, Syrian, nor Egyptian, but a hybird," in Justine, the first novel in his Alexandria Quartet.
A number of other lecturers explored Yeats's relations with or influence upon other writers, including Ezra Pound and Rapallo (Massimo Bacigalupo), Samuel Beckett (Derval Tubridy), Robert Graves (Fran Brearton) and Lawrence Durrell (Richard Pine).
I studied What the Best College Teachers Do in bits and pieces, and between chapters read portions of Prospero's Ceil (1945), by Lawrence Durrell, an account of his years in Corfu before World War II.
The parent organization was founded in 1963 by British naturalist and author Gerald Durrell (brother of Lawrence Durrell, author of the "Alexandria Quartet" books).

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