[ilds] terrorism studies

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Thu Aug 16 13:47:41 PDT 2007


William,

I posted this a while back but no one except Charles picked up the ball and ran with it. I am very interested in Durrell's commentary on the nature of terrorism and ask the list to consider this

Take us back to Durrell's book, David.  Where would you have us start?

Richard Pine, I think, said that Durrell was very wise. Indeed. The following extract from Bitter Lemons on the nature of terrorism should, perhaps, be compulsory reading for American, British and Australian security organisations - CIA, MI5 or 6, ASIO in our case.

"one needs about a month to catch the particular flavour of terrorism which is made up of quite intangible fears - feet running down a road at midnight, a silent man in a white shirt standing at a street corner holding a bicycle too small for him, a parked car with no lights, a factory door ajar, the flick of a torch in a field. terrorism infects the normal transactions of life. The horror of deliberate murder, or ambush or grenade, is at least purging - the pity and the terror are in them, and the conciseness of actions which can be met. But the evil genius of terrorism is suspicion- the man who stops and asks for a light, a cart with a broken axle signalling for help, a forrester standing alone among trees, three youths walking back to a village after sundown, a sheperd shouting something indistinctly heard by moonlight, the sudden pealing of a doorbell in the night. The slender chain of trust upon which all human relations are based is broken - and this the terrorist knows and sharpens his claws precisely here: for is primary object is not battle. It is to bring upon the community in general a reprisal for his wrongs, in the hope that the fury and resentment roused by punishment meted out to the innocent will gradually swell the ranks of those from whom he will draw further recruits."

To use an Australian expression "How good is this?!"

when we read the measured examples of Durrell's own experience, we can imagine, quite easliy, the American Grunt in Bagdad trying, probably not very well, to deal with this stuff and if it gets too tricky, well there is always huge amounts of firepower.

we have soldiers in East Timor coping with the same stuff and they are, by all accounts very professional, and yet, some months ago several notorious local thugs walked out of gaol because 'everything seemed normal'.

If we consider the precison of Durrell's images - ones I feel he observed or heard - how luck were the British to have the wise Durrell as an advisor to the Cyprus admin. How well could George Bush's administration do with him now? (Mind you I don't think Durrell's penchant for the juice of the vine would go down too well)

David Green



Denise Tart & David Green
16 William Street, Marrickville NSW 2204

+61 2 9564 6165
0412 707 625
dtart at bigpond.net.au
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: william godshalk 
  To: Durrell list 
  Cc: paullorenz at sbcglobal.net 
  Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 2:54 AM
  Subject: [ilds] durrell list et al.


  What happened to the Durrell list? 

  Charlie and I are now back from Southern Illinois University -- after doing a rapid survey of some of their Durrell collection. And we have stories to tell. We were surprised when, one morning, Corinne Alexandre-Garner greeted us as we arrived a trifle late to work. Unbeknownst to us, she also was in Carbondale working on the Durrell collection. 

  She told us that the Durrell conference will be held in Paris and environs during the first week in July of next year. She seemed surprised that this information had not yet appeared on this list. Perhaps someone out there could give us the details? Why the apparent secrecy?

  Sumantra asks: "What has happened to the reading of Justine?" A good question. Apparently the group lost interest in a close reading of Justine. And so we turned to Bitter Lemons, and the group quickly lost interest in that book. And we are left in limbo. 

  So let's discuss where to go next. Balthazar perhaps? Back to Justine? Elsewhere?

  Bill
    

  ***************************************
  W. L. Godshalk           *
  Department of English         *
  University of Cincinnati            Stellar disorder  *
  Cincinnati OH 45221-0069      *
  513-281-5927
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