[ilds] Said & Durrell

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Mon May 28 12:45:48 PDT 2007

On 5/28/2007 2:53 PM, Bruce Redwine wrote:

>I care not a whit about the "fact and power" of the literary Establishment, which, by the way, brings to mind Said and his reverence for Michel Foucault.  Not only that, I liked Scruton's piece.
Nothing has to be exclusive, I think.  Readers can enjoy (?) or at least 
learn as they will from Scruton and Said and Eagleton as necessary.  I 
"enjoy" putting the three of them all in a cage like my Yeatsian circus 
animals and letting them tussle like unfed monkeys and feed off of each 

But in my less cavalier moments I recognize that "caring not a whit" 
cannot be an option for anybody working earnestly (spot the 
Victorianist!) to bring a larger recognition to Durrell's work--whether 
that person is an executor of an estate, a literary agent, a publisher, 
a literary scholar, an editor, a biographer, a teacher, &c.  All of 
those workers will have audiences to win and interests to cultivate 
alongside the other sort of "interests" (financial).  Collectors also 
must monitor the cache of the author's writings. 

I really admire those Durrellians who work for Durrell out of loyalty to 
his person and out of appreciation for his art, while also out of real 
world, savvy recognition of how literature gets published and how 
reputations are sustained or compromised.  I am especially recalling the 
rousing tone of Anthea Morton-Saner's voice when we discussed Eagleton's 
too easy dismissal of Durrell and interest in Durrell in his review of 
Ian MacNiven's biography.  That was a personal connection with Lawrence 
Durrell.   That was true spirit and loyalty, toughened and strengthened 
and clarified by real world experience and good business instinct.


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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