[ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 4, Issue 21

Marc Piel marcpiel at interdesign.fr
Tue Jul 17 15:46:29 PDT 2007

Since when has there been a relation between 
"autodidact" and "intellectual development"?

Surely not, rather on the contrary it means not 
under the "stifling" influence of....

On the contrary many people have become statesmen 
and regarded intellectuals despite their lack of 
schooling: Churchill never completed his 
schooling, André Malraux never got his 
bacaleaureat... just to name two that are very 
different but had an impact on their time and 

I have a feeling that we are being led astray from 
the heart of the matter by recent posts....
Surely quality writing has nor necessarily 
anything (sorry) to do with education!


Smithchamberlin at aol.com wrote:

> LD was indeed in many ways an autodidact.  However, he did not grow up 
> (a life-long effort) in isolation.  He knew artists, writers, poets, 
> etc., with whom he communicated, learned from and followed a course of 
> reading on his own, true, but under certain influences of his 
> contemporaries and those of a generation earlier like Eliot, Joyce, 
> Freud and the more obscure and obscurantist shrinks, poets and the 
> like.  So there is a milieu or milieux and context for his intellectual 
> development.
>         Brewster
> In a message dated 7/17/2007 3:16:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
> ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca writes:
>     Message: 6
>     Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2007 17:20:18 -0700 (GMT-07:00)
>     From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>     Subject: [ilds] Autodidact
>     To: Durrell list <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
>     Message-ID:
>     <25929340.1184631618437.JavaMail.root at elwamui-lapwing.atl.sa.earthlink.net>
>     Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>     I'm surprised no one has picked up on Richard Pine's interesting
>     suggestion that the fact Lawrence Durrell was an autodidact has,
>     possibly, important implications.  One of my old teachers was fond
>     of saying that the only people with truly interesting ideas were the
>     ones who weren't too educated.  That was why he enjoyed teaching
>     undergraduates and was suspicious of his graduate students.  Of
>     course, he had a Ph.D. from Harvard, but Alain being who he was
>     would probably, unflinchingly, have included himself in that class.
>     Now, the class of those who were largely autodidacts is impressive: 
>     Shakespeare, Blake, Keats, and many more.  Is Durrell's strange
>     diction and vocabulary the result of finding words on his own and
>     not having some teacher tell him to stop overwriting?  Is his great
>     erudition similarly the benefit of self-enterprise?  Do people learn
>     things better on their own without being told what's good and not? 
>     Should creative people following their own inclinations and not have
>     them stifled by the system of higher education?  Is Durrell's
>     tendency to plagiarize the result of not being inoculated against
>     such when a university student?  I wonder.
>     Bruce
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