‘The English are philistines. They need to be re-educated.’

From Lawrence Durrell in conversation with Igor Pomerantsev. The full interview can be read here.

I regard myself as extremely English. I regard my job, since I am working in English, to sort of try and develop the English psyche a little bit, you know, just as Joyce makes that wonderful statement about trying to rejuvenate his race – he’s in Paris after all, not in Dublin. We have the same context because the English are philistines. They need to be re-educated. We’re giving them a bouncing.

 

But among Americans there are not only barbarians. America is the motherland of William Faulkner for instance.

 

Yes all the Americans brought up in Canada write beautiful English.

 

You mean Saul Bellow.

 

He was brought up in Canada. He writes beautiful English.

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