[ilds] conspiracy

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Sun Jul 8 11:23:36 PDT 2007

On 7/8/2007 1:38 PM, william godshalk wrote:

>> *I will defend my own position, however,my own approach to 
>> literature, as my way of making sense of the world, which I think is 
>> why many of us read at all. I will also defend the intellectual 
>> abilities of fellow "postcolonial" (quotes aqain!) scholars. ---Pamela*
> I read because the world makes no sense at all, but I don't expect 
> literature to give it any sense -- for me.

Yes, I think that there is the sticking point.  Literature perhaps 
(perhaps) does not offer us anything but the enjoyment of a 
highly-particularized form of attention.  Whatever else follows, to 
claim that it "makes the world sensible" or "makes the world better," 
that is something else.  

Following Swinburne's lead, I would be most surprised at a great work 
coming from any poet or novelist who set out save the world with his or 
her work.    Certainly Durrell would balk at any suggestion that he had 
done so, and that is why Eagleton is so pronounced in his suspicions of 
Durrell.  Durrell's allegiances are to an aesthetic--to his art and to 
his imagination--and not to the "uses of literature." 

(Let me not sound naive.  His foremost allegiance was to making a 
living.  Our writer was not ever someone working under the ideals of a 
"starving poet."  His romanticism is not like that.  He practiced a very 
particular kind of "exile," but perhaps in the end it was all more of 
the sort of "suburban ideal" that we have been discussing in regards to 
/Bitter Lemons/.)

Now let us be specific:  Milton was Great first because his mastery of 
poetic form could realize his amazing vision.  His religion and his 
politics come second, whether he "intended" them to do so or not.  Same 
for Shelley.


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

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