[ilds] RG Justine - Eagleton

Ilyas Khan ilyas.khan at crosby.com
Tue May 29 09:17:55 PDT 2007


I have quite a different view. Having lived with, known, and, on many
occasions, supported ³scholars², I think they have a rather quaint (when
observed from afar) and disquieting (when seen up close) inclination towards
affectation. This list see¹s plenty of those examples. Using clunky sounding
words, and showing off one¹s awareness of the various texts is not a
substitute for flying the flag (in my view). Conrad and Maugham, and
actually also Woodehouse get widely read, widely acknowledged as great
writers, and then fall into place as ³stars² when the middle ground of avid
readers who do not get paid to be scholars are excited by the author in
question. I don't mean to sound as authoritative as this little spiel
sounds, but the scholars have only one of many roles to play. Right now
Durrell is overlooked, in my view, Œcos too many ordinary people have still
to read him. Publishers, literary journals, newspapers and even distributors
have important roles to play. I don't have an answer to your question of
Beatrice (and I look forward to her next posting),  but your question is a
very good one beyond the specifics of the ³role of the academy².

I would say, in closing, that I take great pleasure for this list, and all
its participants, and am really encouraged by the scholar¹s acceptance of
the non-scholarly view. Maybe a sign that we are ³getting there ?² any more
non scholars out there ?

On 5/30/07 12:05 AM, "David Holdsworth" <holdsworth at rogers.com> wrote:

> Beatrice Skordili wrote:
> 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.
> This is an interesting intervention ­ the role of the academy in shaping
> Durrell¹s reputation a generation after his death.
> Presumably all the professional scholars understand exactly its implications
> for criticism of Durrell and agree or disagree. But it would be helpful to
> those non-scholars among us if Beatrice could elaborate this point a bit. Can
> she provide any specific examples of critical approaches to Joyce and Conrad
> which in her view Durrell scholarship should be following? Any comments from
> the scholars?
> Thanks.
> David Holdsworth
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