2012 is the centenary of Lawrence Durrell’s birth and there are apparently a number of things happening to celebrate it, including a conference in June. In bloody London, of course. But never mind. Lawrence Durrell is my favourite writer – see here and here – and on a purely sentence-by-sentence level I believe there has been no finer writer in the English language. Since pootling along to events in London is not that easy for me, I shall have to mark the centenary in my own way.
And the obvious way to do that is to read his books.
So, sometime during 2012, I am going to reread The Alexandria Quartet. And then The Avignon Quintet. And then The Revolt of Aphrodite. But first I need to get hold of the omnibus editions, as they were “improved” slightly from the original individual editions. I shall also read Durrell’s poetry. And whatever other bits and pieces of his writing that catch my eye.
And I shall blog about it all, of course.
Due to ongoing projects, none of this is likely to start until after Easter. In the meantime, here’s a link to my review of Durrell’s first novel, Pied Piper of Lovers, from 1935. The novel is from 1935, that is; not my review. Enjoy.
January 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm
Happy 2012, Ian!
I am looking forward to reading Jan Morris’ new intro to the Quartet.
There is also advance word that a new issue for The Black Book will be coming to us in June — with an intro by a Booker winner. (Big drums pounding away in the night, my dear, big drums in the night — Scobie can’t say more, you know.)
And why don’t you try to get to London? In addition to the events & exhibition at the BL — showing off the Justine notebook &c. — we’ll have a special exhibition at Foyles, showing off all sorts of privately-held Durrelliana — the typescript for The Black Book (Miller typed it!), a roomful of LD paintings, photos, and letters — top-shelf, one-time only & ever.
All best — keep us posted!
January 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm
How long is the Foyle’s exhibition on for? If I’m in London, I could pop in to see that.
January 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm
The exhibition will be held in the Gallery @ Foyles on the evening of Wednesday, 13 June 2012.
Here’s the draft schedule:
January 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm
I’ve only read his brother Gerald, whose books fill my shelves as I began collecting them as a kid when I wasnt interested in literature. How would you describe Lawrence’s works?
January 29, 2012 at 6:32 pm
Lush prose, deep, philosophical stories about people and their place in history. He also wrote a lot of travel books, and they’re also excellent.
January 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm
Sam Jordison will be hosting an Online Reading Group at the Guardian in June — we’ll be reading The Alexandria Quartet — please join us!
January 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm
Hmmm, doesnt sound my cup of tea!
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