Otto Rank and the Case of Lawrence Durrell

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Richard Pine

Richard Pine is director of the Durrell Library of Corfu and author of Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape. He has edited Lawrence Durrell’s novels Judith and The Placebo and the forthcoming two-volume collection of Durrell’s unpublished fictions, plays and essays Endpapers & Inklings. His books include Greece Through Irish Eyes, Minor Mythologies and The Disappointed Bridge: Ireland and the Post-Colonial World. He is editor of C.20. A list of his essays on Lawrence Durrell, available on the Durrell Library website, can be found at the end of this essay.


On 12 August 1937 Lawrence Durrell and his wife Nancy arrived in Paris at the Gare de Montparnasse, having travelled from their home in Corfu. They were met at the station by Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller, in whose company they were to spend much of the next eight months. Among their new friends would be the German painter Hans Reichel, the Hungarian photographer Brassaï [Gyula Halasz] (on both of whom Durrell would write essays)1, and Alfred Perlès, a Vienna-born writer of Czech and Jewish parentage. They would also meet (among many others) André Breton, Herbert Read, Raymond Queneau, Eugene Jolas and David Gascoyne. This international potpourri of artists would have an abiding influence on the imagination of Lawrence Durrell who, up to that point, was an autodidact poet and incipient novelist, with Pied Piper of Lovers (1935), Panic Spring (1936) and the about-to-be-published Black Book to his credit.

In particular, Durrell would form a close friendship with Miller and Perlès and a literary bond with Nin. The first three would edit an avant-garde magazine in Paris (The Booster, later titled Delta)2 and the works of Durrell, Miller and Nin have been identified as having in common a considerable interest in the psychological novel and the novel of ideas.

If, as Durrell noted, “language […] fell to pieces” with the Semantic Disturbance,3 then it was the artist’s function to create a new language for a new world.4 This was his conception of the way his own work would coalesce with that of Miller and Nin: “We are all such different writers. How to explain our sound solidarity and affection? […] I was often irritated by Anaïs and she by me; also Henry didn’t like my ‘literary’ style […] We disagreed violently on details but on the grand lines we were quite solidly linked.”5

In the case of Durrell’s lifelong friendship with Miller, it began with his admiration for the iconoclasm of Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, and their progress was based on the male imperative to explore the labyrinth; in Durrell’s relationship with Nin, it was, conversely, based on the female imperative to “proceed outward from the dream”, as Nin put it.6

But Durrell’s most influential meeting on that day was not with a person but with a book, since Nin and Miller presented him with a copy of Otto Rank’s Art and Artist (1932) which, together with Rank’s The Trauma of Birth (1924; trans 1929), which he already possessed,7 Durrell read assiduously and on which he made copious notes.8 All Rank’s work is directly relevant to Durrell but I will concentrate on Art and Artist and the Trauma of Birth since we have concrete evidence of how Durrell read both books.

As a study for what Rank called “the psychology of the creative personality”9 Lawrence Durrell could not be more appropriate. Durrell certainly aligns himself with “the artist” as described by Rank: “psychologically intermediate between the dreamer and the neurotic”.10 Durrell was, primarily, a poet obsessed with birth, death and otherness, for all of which he found clinical arguments in Rank’s work. If Rank’s are the “textbooks”, then Durrell provides “textbook examples” of them.

Art and Artist

The significance of Art and Artist for Durrell lay in two areas: firstly, in Rank’s location of the artist in the world; and secondly, in Rank’s understanding of the psychology of the artist in his or her search for meaning and connection. The two areas of concern were expressed by Rank as follows, in a passage to which Durrell gave a marginal comment in his copy, “awfully good”.

the struggle of the individual against an inherent striving after totality, which forces him equally in the direction of a complete surrender to life and a complete giving of himself in production. He has to save himself from this totality by fleeing, now from the Scylla of life, now from the Charybdis of creation, and his escape is naturally accomplished only at the cost of continual conflict, both between these two spheres and within each of them separately.11

There is also a single central statement by Rank in The Trauma of Birth which is cognate with the whole of Art and Artist, since it sums up the creative urge: “The adjustment to reality of the Unconscious may be considered as the real principle of the development of man”.12

Rank’s ability to see the psychology of the artist in its historical context and in the context of the contemporary world is extremely helpful when we consider Durrell as the author, in particular, of Tunc (1968) and Nunquam (1970).13 And Rank, in identifying “the two essential problems of artistic creativity” as “the urge to create and the importance of form”,14 anticipated Durrell’s final major fiction, The Avignon Quintet (1974-85) which departed from conventional storytelling to embrace a Taoist sense of timeless mind.

One major character in Tunc/Nunquam is the architect, and mage-figure, Caradoc. He, too, owes something to Rank: in Art and Artist Rank writes of architecture as being of “fundamental importance to the whole problem of artistic development”. Caradoc’s precepts on the symbolism of building, expounded in Tunc in his aborted lecture on the Acropolis (and also in “The Placebo”)15 can be traced to Rank’s analysis of the evolution of Greek, Babylonian, Cretan and Nordic attempts to “convert the animalistic-chthonian world-picture into the spiritual, heavenly one”.16 The process linking the womb, through organic development, to the building of the house is also a “Caradoc” theme, which Rank discusses in Trauma of Birth (p.88), a passage particularly noted by Durrell.

Rank wrote of “the fundamental dualism which appears as the basis for all cultural development in man”.17 Durrell would have recognised in Rank’s statement the dualism which he detected within himself. So, too, would he have seen himself in Rank’s statement: “the creative individual […] appoints himself as an artist”,18 since the hallmark of Durrell’s artistic integrity was what he called “the Heraldic Universe”, an isolated zone inhabited by one person – the artist himself – who is King of the Universe and a law only unto himself. Rank wrote that “the productive artist […] begins […] with that re-creation of himself which results in an ideologically constituted ego”.19 Here, he not only described Durrell’s search for origins in his first novel, Pied Piper of Lovers, and his lifelong yearning for the childhood of which he had been deprived, but also his “ideological” discovery of himself in the “Heraldic Universe”.

The “Heraldic Universe”

One cannot give Rank the credit for the conception of the “Heraldic Universe” since Durrell had already started to think about it – and to express his ideas in correspondence with Miller – before he encountered Rank’s work. The most significant of his early notes is one of his simplest, and its Hegelian simplicity is the hallmark of the way he conceived the Heraldic Universe: “It is the nature of thought to strike a locus around itself […] Pure thought, in thinking of itself, can remain thought.”20 Coupled with Durrell’s acceptance of the notion that “our consciousness determines the space in which we live”,21 this becomes the site and strategy of the Heraldic Universe: a membrane between the thinking mind and the external world, and, within that locus, the development of Plato’s “pure forms”.

But Rank’s ideas, in relation to the psychology of the creative urge, certainly underpin Durrell’s understanding of himself. Yet again, it is a classic case of a theoretical prognosis of the artistic condition being exemplified by the life of a specific artist.

The fact that Rank saw the concept of immortality as an imperative of the individual towards a universal unity leads us not only to Durrell’s “Heraldic Universe” but also to his pessimistic view of human destiny in Tunc/Nunquam, where the ironically named Felix and Benedicta (“happy and blessed”) discover the limits to creativity in both scientific invention and parenthood.

In 1942, Durrell wrote in Personal Landscape, the Cairene journal of poetry in exile,

the Heraldic Universe is that territory of experience in which the symbol exists […] It is not a ‘state of mind’ but a continuous self-subsisting plane of reality towards which the spiritual self is trying to reach out through various media […] since words are inadequate they can only render all this negatively – by an oblique method.22

In Art and Artist Durrell noted that the artist “appears first as sculptor of the world, making the universe macrocosmically from himself” and that “this leads finally to the pure poetic form in which a world is born from nothingness by the Word”.23 In this space, “liberated from God, [he] himself become[s] god”.24 In the Quartet the artist Clea refers to this process as the artist taking possession of his kingdom: king or god, the artist or, as Durrell also proclaimed himself, the “Selfist”, “a Durrealist” (rather than a “Surrealist”)25 or “autist”26 achieves a condition analogous to the religious state of “election”.

The Trauma of Birth

We know that Durrell specifically copied out the following passages from The Trauma of Birth – in the case of the first passage, he went to the trouble of typing it twice into his notes (For the sake of brevity, I give the opening and closing of each passage):

  • from p.88: “This simple case of ‘symbolic’ adaptation to reality opens up new vistas in the understanding of the development of culture […] such concepts as fatherland, nation, and state”.
  • from p.107: “The hero represents the type who, free from anxiety, seeks to overcome an apparently specially severe birth trauma […] The theme of heroic invulnerability is also to be explained […] as armour” [original emphasis].
  • from p.160: The modern art-movements […] has become to a large extent the content of art”.
  • from p.195: “That which is primarily psychical, the real Unconscious […] embryo of the womb” [original emphasis].

Other passages in which Durrell would have seen his own compulsion to creativity include: “[the child] seeks in itself for the lost memory of its earlier place of abode”.27 Rank’s linking together the “anxiety dream”, the “birth trauma” and the “expulsion from Paradise”28 would have struck a chord within Durrell since, in addition to the inevitable expulsion from his mother’s womb, he had lost his childhood when, as a typical Anglo-Indian, he had been sent from India, his “paradise”, to England which was alien and drab, and against which he reacted violently in his move, at the age of twenty-three, to Corfu and his lifelong abhorrence of what he called “Pudding Island”.

The “trauma of birth” and the resulting pain and guilt were explored gruesomely in Durrell’s first novel, Pied Piper of Lovers: the mere fact of its opening statement “the child was born” is an annunciation of a morbid, uneasy presence, its inevitability spelling out life as an unwelcome fact. Rank described the idea of “the individual origin of Man in the mother [as] a universal natural law”29 in which the emergence of the child from the labyrinth of the mother was a primal condition of art as a strategy of escape from consciousness of birth. At the outset of Pied Piper the father of the child reflects on parturition:

Oh! but he must not remember. He must not think, for the thought tormented him. Did the bones of the pelvis creak as they were pushed out? […] But he must not remember […] he must not remember.30

In Rank’s work, the act of remembering becomes the cardinal element in the “womb-thesis”, something against which, in Durrell’s novel, there is clearly an abreaction.

The autobiographical element in this writing is increased by the fact that, according to his younger daughter, Sappho Durrell, her father “could remember being born! […] It was painful for him to tell […] how he was bruised and thrown away on a pallet for dead while they looked after ‘that woman’, his mother”.31 The trauma of expulsion, which Francis Mott, a strong influence on Durrell in the 1950s, characterised as uncertainty and disintegration is also, in Mott’s terms, a form of death, and it is the child’s function to piece together the fragments of this life/death.32 Equally, therefore, this reintegration inherently includes the polarities of memory and forgetting.

Whether or not this personal “memory” of his own birth was Durrell’s hyperbole, there is a reasonable inference that his childhood and adolescence interested him in the twin poles of “mother” and “father” and created the abiding fascination with the womb. As Rank said:

we may have to look for the beginning of every art in general in plastic art. But before primitive man started like Prometheus to form man in clay, presumably, on the analogy of the instinct of nest-building, he first created a vessel for a receptacle and a protection, in imitation of the womb.33

The connection – in Durrell’s mind at least – between Rank’s view of the artist and of the trauma of birth becomes a matter of poetry. On a personal level, poetry enabled Durrell to address the issue of birth-trauma and the resultant problem of sexuality. He devoted considerable attention to the idea of the sea as womb and amniotic fluid; in one of his earliest notebooks he wrote: “enter the recuperative night of the womb – the sea’s blue menstruum: for even sleep, the convalescent rhythm[,] demands the foetal position.34

The “return to the womb” syndrome becomes, in Rank’s words, “the prenatal condition, which the individual in his yearning for immortality strives to restore”.35 Again, the artist’s “yearning for immortality” emerges in Durrell’s poetry in his constant iteration of the womb-imagery and the sea in which, as in amniotic fluid, the poet swims.

In his copy of Art and Artist Durrell inscribed “man himself as an amphibian”,36 and his notebooks from the 1940s also contain several references to Ulysses, the sea-bound hero: “A man was wedded to an island / Go down go down by Ithaca. / His was a marriage to silence / Kneel down where the queen sea spins” … “Ithaca was chosen as the home of the Hero because the harbour is the exact reproduction of a womb”.37

It is possible that what Durrell learned or intuited from Rank about the agon in the womb and the man in the woman’s amniotic fluid became, in his imagination, a state where sexual duality was inevitable. He had also taken to heart Georg Groddeck’s statement that

in the being we call man there lives also a woman, in the woman too a man This mingling of man and woman is sometimes fateful. There are people whose It remains clogged by doubt, who see two sides to everything, who are always at the mercy of their impressions of doubleness in childhood.38

We must remark that Balthazar, the second volume of the Alexandria Quartet, in its published version, was described as “an investigation of modern love” but that Durrell had intended to refer to “the bisexual psyche” – which his publisher, Faber and Faber, refused to print. The Quartet not only features many homosexuals, including the mage, Balthazar, but also characters who slide in and out of each others’ sexuality, as they would to a far greater extent in the Avignon Quintet.

We find this duality again in Durrell’s final book, Caesar’s Vast Ghost (1990), in the form of an equation:

In each of us there lives another who is the precise counterpart of ourselves; in the other sex we love this counterpart. Thus, for love of our own sex we try to run away from that very counterpart. The duality of the instinct is not split in the human soul: mother instinct, for example, and hatred of motherhood coexist in the human heart.39

According to Durrell’s biographer Ian MacNiven, during the months in Paris Durrell wrote an essay on Rank for which he was unable to find a publisher.40 There survives a single-page manuscript note for this essay which is concerned primarily with the womb:

The Trauma of Birth represents for us the masterly thesis of the intra-uterine state, towards which man after his primal separation consistently yearns back. Suggest that the progressive stages of the individual’s growth in society represent, as it were, not a painful transition, from one open place to another, as Rank’s thesis suggests, with the continual tug wombward, but a transition from womb to womb. Entrenchment, consolidation, stasis;41 all these are represented to us by the womb equation: which in itself means simply the freedom from anxiety: a state in which, then, the world as is, is the world of the Womb. This acceptance is the Tempest World: womb again as the Shakespearean finale: AN ISLAND – beautiful foetal growth, surrounded by amniotic ocean.42

The double

Although Durrell did not know Rank’s work The Double (at least until its appearance in English in 1971), so much of his writing chimes with Rank’s account of the double in literature that it deserves to be mentioned here. And it is of (academic) interest to note that Rank prefaced this work with a quotation from Dürrenmatt’s Der Doppelgänger: “Any of us could be the man who encounters his double”: it sums up Durrell’s poem “Je est un Autre” and the encounter of the writer with his alter ego which permeates his work, from The Black Book to The Avignon Quintet.

Durrell had a “double” in mind almost from the outset. Apart from joking with Henry Miller that he would adopt a dual persona as a writer (“Lawrence Durrell” for the serious art and “Charles Norden” for lighter matter)43 he was conscious throughout his working life of an “other” presence: in his third novel, The Black Book, the central character, Gregory, is haunted by the spectre of “Lawrence Lucifer”.44 In The Alexandria Quartet the central character, Darley, has an alter ego, Pursewarden, who is in some ways his antithesis, in others his conscience.

In The Avignon Quintet there is a more complex interplay between the writers Blanford and Sutcliffe, either, neither, both or one of whom may or may not be “real” and the author/creator of the other. In The Trauma of Birth (and therefore a passage with which Durrell would have been familiar) Rank quotes “an Islamic mystic” as follows: “The Ego and the You have ceased to exist between us. I am not I, You are not You, also You are not I; I am at the same time I and You, You are at the same time You and I”.45 This reads exactly like a bickering between Blanford and Sutcliffe as to who is who, and expresses perfectly the osmosis which Durrell tried to achieve in urging his characters to become part of each other. Forty years previously, he had noted: “To the east there is no personal ‘I’: only the void of which ‘I’ is a reflection”.46 The “void” became an ontological crisis evident in his earliest prose-poems, Zero and Asylum in the Snow.

Durrell’s sense of otherness, of an other self waiting to be discovered, is explicitly evoked in his poem “Je est un Autre”, a line taken deliberately from Rimbaud and which can best be translated as “’I’ is an ‘other’” – a seductive statement recalling the Semantic Disturbance inaugurated by Rimbaud. As Durrell wrote: “In the poets of the Semantic Disturbance, you see an attempt being made to join up subject and object, to marry the reality around them and renounce their individual isolation […] It is a refusal to accept the terms of the duality under which we live that characterizes those artists”.47 “Je est un Autre” was published in 1942:

He is the man who makes notes,

The observer in the tall black hat,

Face hidden in the brim:

In three European cities

He has watched me watching him.



I hear him laughing in the other room.

He watches me now, working late,

Bringing a poem to life, his eyes

Reflect the malady of De Nerval:

O useless in this old house to question

The mirrors, his impenetrable disguise.48

The sense of otherness or double-ness in Durrell’s mind and work in fact coalesced with his ideas about the trauma of birth. In an early notebook he wrote:

I, I, I. The Ego: the subliminal self: the id: the cosmic self rather: the astrological brother: the shadow: In all this I see man’s attempts to sunder the total self to stifle the voice which desires to speak from the totality of the individual… What I have written before has been an attempt to escape the womb: now, I accept it: I did not realise fully that escape is the involuntary manouve [sic] which ends in madness – or suicide. You cannot escape.49

This dates from the period in Egypt. Five years previously, in Corfu, Durrell had remarked on “the piteous extract of man’s double nature, blinded by what he would be, murdered by what he was”.50

Durrell’s sense of otherness had an extreme outcome: extreme, that is, as far as the western narrative tradition is concerned, but quite natural for the writer who had always retained his childhood vision of Tibet, eastern mysticism and an oriental awareness of an other life. He nurtured this belief from his earliest extant notebooks (1935-44) up to the point, in the wake of Tunc/Nunquam, when he conceived what he called “a Tibetan novel” which became The Avignon Quintet. It would introduce the western narrative tradition – linear and sequential – which he saw as effete and lacking in pelvic thrust,51 to the eastern ways of seeing.

Rank’s influence continued up to and including The Avignon Quintet. He spoke of a “decisive crisis, in the midst of which we stand”, but it is clear from the fact that he went on to refer to “a new structure of personality” that he had much more far-reaching considerations in mind than the merely contemporaneous problems of totalitarianism: “in order to create the new it will have to give up much that has been received from tradition and become dear to it”.52 “Our immediate problem”, Durrell noted in his copy of the book, was that, in Rank’s terms, “modern art […] stands opposed to life […] its compelling motive is fear of life and experience”.53 Here, too, is a replica of the iconoclasm and renewal, the act of reinscription, which Durrell had in common with Miller.

The motive for The Avignon Quintet came from what Durrell called “the biography of fear”, where Rank had referred to “inward fear of the unreal […] precisely because of its intangibility”.54 “The urge to externalize oneself in one’s work” was, for Rank, the expression of this fear, “the individual’s fear of losing himself in life” and for Durrell this was “the core of the matter”.55

In the Quintet, Durrell asked the question “why?” more piercingly, more intensively, than before, adding to his battery of interrogation marks the new stringency of this, the most merciless and most uncompromising of monosyllables.56 The Quintet represented a conscious culmination of work begun as a young man: it is slow, consciously aged and constructed in such a way that, according to his preconceived plan, he achieved the anagnorisis, the recognition which constitutes the final part (or dénouement) of ancient drama. Above all, the anagnorisis involves what Rank had called “the spiritual why”.


If, as Rank had asserted in Art and Artist, genius was the attribute of the male reproductive power, and gave rise to self-assertion,57 then the difficulty for the poet lay in determining how also to encompass and resolve the opposite and the shadow which potentially harboured the act of self-negation.

Durrell’s notebooks for the months in Paris show his careful reading of Rank, and some preparatory work on the theme of “Psyche – the concept of the soul” which would continue to reflect Rank’s work and would lead Durrell into the major themes which permeate all his work thereafter. In addition to the unpublished essay on Rank, he was rehearsing a series of ideas for other essays58 such as “The Concept of Two”, “The symbolism of the womb”, and “The paradigm of the womb”.

Durrell frequently began to write a fiction with a philosophical proposition which he derived from his current reading. The impetus provided by Art and Artist did not result in any immediate work of fiction, but its ideas and influence germinated within his imagination until they were articulated many years later in The Alexandria Quartet, Tunc/Nunquam and The Avignon Quintet.

I think it is no exaggeration to say that Durrell’s readings in Rank expanded his awareness of the role of the artist and deepened it to the extent that his novels are novels of ideas, more psychological than philosophical, more mystical than religious.

1“Introduction” to Henry Miller, Order and Chaos chez Hans Reichel (1966); “Introduction” to an exhibition catalogue of Brassaï, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1968. Both reprinted in Endpapers & Inklings (ed. Eichard Pine),

2The magazine published, among others, Dylan Thomas, Karel Čapek, Antonia White and Michael Fraenkel, in addition to the three editors and Gerald Durrell, Lawrence’s younger brother (then age twelve).

3L. Durrell, The Key to Modern British Poetry, p.39.

4Cf. M. Proust, “One has between oneself and the rest of the world the barrier of a strange language”: A la Recherche du Temps Perdus, vol. 2, p.543.

5L. Durrell, letter to the author, 30 October 1984.

6 Cf. A. Nin, The Novel of the Future, pp.118-9.

7See I MacNiven (ed.), The Durrell-Miller Letters, p.27.

8Durrell’s copy of Art and Artist is now located in the Université Paris-X, Nanterre; the location of his copy of The Trauma of Birth is unknown.

9Art and Artist, p.xx.

10Ibid., p.xxi.


12The Trauma of Birth, p.104

13Although these two novels constituted a single narrative, which was republished in one volume as The Revolt of Aphrodite, I retain the original titles since Durrell himself disliked the composite title. Is there any Rankian influence in Durrell’s wordplay on “Tunc/cunt”? Rank wrote “The common characteristic of all infantile birth theories […] is the denial of the female sex organ”: The Trauma of Birth, p.32.

14Art and Artist, p.xxiii.

15The Placebo, edited by Richard Pine and David Roessel (Colenso Books, 2018).

16 Art and Artist, pp.140-41; see also chapter 6 (“House-Building and Architecture”) passim.

17Ibid. p.3.

18Ibid., p.27.

19Ibid., p.41.

20 In the Durrell archive at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC), file 42/8/1; subsequent references to this archive will be cited as “SIUC”.

21 Ibid.

22 Personal Landscape 1/4 (1942); the magazine also included poems by George Seferis (a close friend of Durrell), and prose by Olivia Manning.

23Art and Artist,p. 217.

24 Ibid., p. 24.

25 Lawrence Durrell and Henry Miller: a Private Correspondence (ed. G Wickes),p. 24.

26 Windmill 2/6 (1947) “From a Writer’s Journal”.

27Trauma of Birth, p.30.

28Ibid., p.75.

29 Ibid., p.168.

30L. Durrell, Pied Piper of Lovers, p.18; Durrell’s emphasis.

31 S. Durrell, “Journals and Letters” in Granta 37: The Family, p. 70.

32 Cf. F Mott, The Universal Design Of Birth: an analysis of the configurational involvement of birth and the relation to emergence generally (1948).

33 The Trauma of Birth, p.157.

34 In a notebook labelled “Corfu/Egypt”, now held in the Durrell archive at the Université Paris-X, Nanterre.

35Rank, Art and Artist, p.113. We should consider whether this influenced in any way Paul Hordequin’s decision to entitle a chapter of his 1978 Les Vingt-Trois Siècles de Lawrence Durrell “La Mémoire Prénatale”. In one of his notebooks (which he called “quarries” where he collected cuttings from newspapers, magazines and journals) Durrell had pasted a newspaper cutting: ‘Writing is a neurosis’ says Dr Bergler, ‘like alcoholism and homosexuality. It is the symptom of an illness that goes back to the earliest stages of pre-natal life’; this is most likely a reference to Edmund Bergler’s The Basic Neurosis (1949).

36 Art and Artist,p.133.

37 “Corfu/Egypt” notes.

38G. Groddeck, The Book of the It, p.14; Durrell encountered Groddeck’s writings in 1944, and was immensely influenced by him; he wrote “Studies in Genius” on Groddeck in Horizon (xvii/102, 1948) which was republished as an “Introduction” to The Book of the It reprinted in 1949.

39L. Durrell, Caesar’s Vast Ghost, p.75.

40I MacNiven, Lawrence Durrell, a Biography, pp.201, 209; the typescript of the essay appears to be lost – no copy is known to exist in any of the three main Durrell archives.

41Durrell’s note reads “status” but the sense of the phrase suggests “stasis” and I have amended it accordingly.

42Durrell papers, SIUC.

43“Charles Norden” was Durrell’s nom-de-plume for his second novel, Panic Spring (1936), due to the lack of success of its predecessor, Pied Piper of Lovers; Durrell continued to employ the “Charles Norden” pen-name for pieces of journalism in the 1930s.

44Both the title of the novel and the character of Lawrence Lucifer were borrowed from Thomas Middleton’s 1604 pamphlet, The Black Book.

45Rank, Trauma of Birth, p.177, quoting Heiler, Die Buddhistische Verksenkung, 1922.

46In his “Corfu/Egypt” notebook.

47L. Durrell, The Key to Modern Poetry, p.43.

48L. Durrell, Collected Poems, pp.106-7.

49 In a notebook dating from c. 1937-44 – i.e. begun in Corfu and finished in Egypt; now held at Université Paris-X, Nanterre.

50 Ibid.

51 “We need the impossible eternity in every finite kiss, the extension of affect from a single orgasm to encompass the meaning of the whole known world […] Create a throb […] So long as the reader gets the pelvic thrust”: SIUC Durrell archive Accession II, box 1, folder 5 and SIUC folder 42/19/10.

52 Art and Artist,pp.391-2.

53 Ibid., p. 76 (Rank’s emphasis).

54 Ibid., p.101.

55 Ibid., pp.386, 101.

56Cf. R. Pine, Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape (2nd edn.), chapter 14 passim.


58 Or perhaps all leading towards the one, now lost, essay.

The following essays on Lawrence Durrell by Richard Pine are available on the Durrell Library website (click on the logo above)

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