“I imagine, therefore I belong and am free”

Lawrence Durrell in Justine (Faber Fiction Classics)
on the poet Cavafy:

[Balthazar] had been a fellow-student and close friend of the old poet, and of him he spoke with such warmth and penetration that what he had to say always moved me. ‘I sometimes think that I learned more from studying him than I did from studying philosophy.  His exquisite balance of irony and tenderness would have put him about the saints had he been a religious man.  He was by divine choice only a poet and often unhappy but with him one had the feeling that he was catching every minute as it flew and turning it upside down to expose its happy side.  He was really using himself up, his inner self, in living.  Most people lie and let life play upon them like the tepid discharges of a douche-bag.  To the Cartesian proposition: “I think, therefore I am”, he opposed his own which must have gone something like this: “I imagine, therefore I belong and am free”.’

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.’