[ilds] Durrell and the Academy

Anna Lillios lillios at mail.ucf.edu
Wed Jul 18 12:09:42 PDT 2007


I'm back in the (listserv) game again after an absence of several weeks.  I also can't figure out why (or even if) LD's books sit in stacks.  I think the reason may have something to do with a shift away from the Mediterranean as a place to which (young) people wish to travel.  How many of us were in Greece and picked up one of Durrell's books evoking the spirit of place?  I remember just where I was (in a Patras bookstore) when I discovered him.  Nowadays, American kids (and, probably, adults) don't want to travel to places that require learning a foreign language; the most exotic locale they visit is Italy.  Forget about Egypt.  People want comfort and safety when they travel.  Of course, Paul Fussell in ABROAD claims that adventure and lack of comfort are precisely what makes travel mind-bending.  Personally, I think the way to reach younger readers is through the internet and which author lends himself better to the multi-media possibilities of the internet than Durrell?

     By the way, I disagree with an earlier posting that claims that focusing on Durrell ruins an academic career.  I found the opposite to be true.  At my university, I have never received any resistance to my concentration on his work.

                                                                                                                       --Anna
         


Dr. Anna Lillios
Associate Professor of English
Department of English
University of Central Florida
P.O. Box 161346
Orlando, Florida 32816-1346

Phone: (407) 823-5161
FAX: (407) 823-6582



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