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Commonplace Book

Clea in Lawrence Durrell’s “Justine” on the artist

‘An artist does not live a personal life as we do, he hides it, forcing us to go to his books if we wish to touch the true source of his feelings.’

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Commonplace Book

Clea from Lawrence Durrell’s “Justine” on amorality



‘It is our disease’ [Clea] said ‘to want to contain everything within the frame of reference of a psychology or a philosophy.  After all Justine cannot be justified or excused.  She simply and magnificently is; we have to put up with her, like original sin.  But to call her a nymphomaniac or to try and Freudianise her, my dear, takes away all her mythical substance – the only thing she really is.  Like all amoral people she verges on the Goddess.  If our world were a world there would be temples to accommodate her where she would find the peace she was seeking.  Temples where one could outgrow the sort of inheritance she has: not these damn monasteries full of pimply little Catholic youths who have made a bicycle saddle of their sexual organs.’