[ilds] RG Justine - Eagleton

Beatrice Skordili bskordil at otenet.gr
Tue May 29 05:30:17 PDT 2007

The question is not so much whether Eagleton, DeMan, Said, Foucault (names 
mentioned recently) are good or bad scholars as such, or even whether (which 
concerns two of them) they have said "bad" things about Durrell based on 
cursory readings, or even plain reputation. These people found currency in 
academic discussions because of the relevance of their work to the issues 
that became prominent,  both theoretical and political, at their time. The 
scholars working on Joyce or Conrad (for instance) have managed to keep them 
current in the academy by demonstrating their relevance to these very 
theoretical and political debates. Unlike them Durrell scholarship--along 
with that of other worthwhile authors--has persisted in maintaining a 
distance from these debates, from these issues, evincing instead a desire to 
keep the author very much alive and intentional. Only the kind of work that 
will be commensurate to Durrell's own awareness and investment in all the 
issues that the academy later came to call post-structuralist theory 
(understood in the broadest terms) and the ways in which his work intervenes 
meaningfully in this field will make Durrell relevant in these discussions. 
The burden is with Durrell scholars not with an academic public which is not 
exposed to or made aware of such aspects. (I am not minimizing here the 
effort of the DSC, but in the absence of sufficient critical work along 
these lines, it is bound to remain circumscribed by its circumstances.)
    The question therefore is one of relevance and how our (Durrell's, 
Said's, whoever's) work answers to it.

Beatrice Skordili

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