[ilds] Said & Durrell

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Mon May 28 08:07:05 PDT 2007

I also don't see the linkage.  How can you?  In fact, I think Scruton is honoring Durrell by putting him in the same company as Joseph Conrad, whom the Brits revere (read F. R. Leavis and Ian Watt, both of Cambridge, on Conrad).  The point of the paragraph is to make out Edward Said the Palestinian as a turncoat to his upbringing, education, and the great city-state of New York.  No more.  After all, as previously discussed, it's Said who calls Lawrence Durrell and his readers "poncy."  (My thanks to RP for teaching me a new word.)


PS I also miss the point about nightingales and vin rouge.  Another poncy allusion?

>On 5/27/2007 4:01 PM, Ilyas Khan wrote:

>> Sorry, but the linkage is contrived, at best, or I am missing some 
>> nuance here.

On 5/07, Scruton wrote:

Only cultural decline can explain the eagerness with which Said’s argument 
has been accepted in our universities. Yet Said was born of Christian parents in
 Jerusalem before the war; he was educated in English-language private schools
> in Egypt and America and at Harvard University; he was brought up to love
> western music, western literature and western art. He was a cosmopolitan in
> the mould of Conrad, Turgenev and Lawrence Durrell, and his attack on the
> culture that formed him was an act of repudiation towards a legacy that he
 nevertheless gladly inherited and manifestly enjoyed.
On 7/28/07, Charles Sligh wrote:

As you know, Ilyas, Scruton is making a special use of Durrell for an 
>end applicable to current cultural debates in Britain--debates to which 
>I will always be an outsider.  Contrivance always must be reckoned in 
>political rhetoric.  That said, as someone who is interested in 
>Durrell's changing place in literary and cultural history, I find I 
>would like to ask Scruton and his readers
>        "Why /Lawrence Durrell/? Why now, why in this context? Is
>        /Lawrence Durrell/ still a name with which to be conjured in
>        2007?  If so, for what values and against what values does
>        Scruton expect /Lawrence Durrell/ to stand, to be understood to
>        stand by readers of the Sunday Times?  Will we see a reply to
>        Scruton in the Guardian with a corresponding sinking of
>        /Lawrence Durrell/?  Have /Edward Said /and /Lawrence Durrell
>        /become inextricably entwined in some sort of posthumous
>        Manichean polarity--cartoons of themselves, really--to be made
>        use of as necessary by the those politicos (liberal, jingoist,
>        what have you) involved in the British culture wars?"
>All of this bears tracking because it influences how people outside the 
>ILDS and this listserv hear our cases, our arguments for reading 
>Durrell.  It really does shape a lot of expectations and 
>responses--"Oh.  Lawrence Durrell.  Hmmmm.  A Durrellian, are you?  
>/That /lot.  Well, from what I have heard. . . ."  Believe me, my 
>experience with multiple colleagues who came through Cambridge shows 
>that sort of suspicion of Durrell as "lit for the poncy set" is prevalent. 

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