Monday, February 11, 2019


A Marvellous Experience, a Great Blessing

Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), From the Elephant's Back (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2015), pp. 39-40:
In this field of idle ratiocination one does, of course, come across bright solutions to the world problem. I can think of several—to abolish all news media, journals, films, books, for a period of ten years. Let no one have anything but word-of-mouth news from the village for a long time. I have tried this on myself and can testify to the extremely beneficial effect it has on one. To live in a Greek island with no radio, no newspaper, for a year at a time is a marvellous experience. Energy was saved which could be devoted to private inquiry and the practice of becoming more oneself; I even try the same thing today, for where I live there is no radio, no television, and the papers arrive ten days late. This is a great blessing. It makes it impossible to get worked up about the crises they record—for by the time I read about them they will already have been replaced by others. They come to me, these crises, with the time-lag of distant stars. In this way I strive to keep the milk of opinionation from boiling over. But I have noticed one thing about crises; they perpetually reproduce themselves, there is never any lack of them.

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