The Villa Ambron, where Lawrence Durrell lived and worked in Alexandria, is in a deplorable state according to this Facebook post by Ahmed Essam.
The terrible state of the historic villa has also been noticed by political activist Essam Fathallah, who has called for action to save the city of Alexandria and its heritage, as Egyptian outlet Al Youm 7 reports.
Durrell was not the only artist to live in the villa — Egyptian painters Effat Nagy and Saad al-Khadem also resided there.
The Huffington Post has reprinted a letter from P.G. Wodehouse to Lawrence Durrell, in which the former explains how Jeeves came into being. Durrell was a great admirer of Wodehouse.
New York artist L.C. Armstrong has named the British novelist Lawrence Durrell as an influence on her work, citing his quote, “We are all children of our own landscape.”
An exhibition of recent work by Armstrong, Central Park Paintings, will open at the Marlborough Gallery in New York on February 13 and continue through March 16, 2013.
From Lawrence Durrell in conversation with Igor Pomerantsev. The full interview can be read here.
I’d recommend heading over to Michael Haag’s blog here and reading his new post on Russian editions of the Alexandria Quartet, where he has shared has some lovely pictures of the covers as well as background on the Quartet in the former USSR.
Since we’re talking about the elder Durrell in Russia, Russian-speakers may be interested to read/watch this interesting round table chat on Durrell and the Alexandria Quartet from Radio Svoboda in 2011, at the time of the Egyptian Revolution.
I’ve translated a very small selection of interesting parts of the discussion below, which includes a comparison of Alexandria and Odessa!
Lawrence Durrell was shortlisted for the 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature, alongside Robert Graves and John Steinbeck; however the judges ultimately chose Steinbeck, according to recently-opened archives in Sweden.
BBC Radio 4 is set to broadcast a programme on Thursday (Jan 3) about Lawrence Durrell. It should be available online at the link above.
This year Lawrence Durrell is or would have been 100. Tim Marlow sleeps beneath a special shelf above his bed which holds his collection of first editions of Durrell. He is a devotee. What does Durrell and those bright covered novels of The Alexandria Quartet once read by every open-minded reader mean today? Can his reputation extend beyond his surviving fans and the occasional leftovers of scandal? Should new readers pick him up, what would they find? With archive recordings and new interviews a reassessment of a revolutionary writer in danger of being forgotten. Producer: Tim Dee
- Durrell on Desert Island Discs (whitemetropolis.wordpress.com)