[ilds] words written and read and shared

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Sat May 3 14:14:42 PDT 2008

> On 5/3/2008 1:15 PM, william godshalk wrote:
>> Actually, Bruce, you are reading the words contained in the OED. 
>> These words do not belong to any particular reader or writer.
>> Durrell took these words and put them in to form.
>> But he's dead.
>> And all you have is words, words, words.
>> If you admire the form of the words, good.
>> But a dead author is a dead author -- whether you like to read her or 
>> him, or not.
>> You can't share a beer with Larry and ask him what he thinks. And 
>> listen to him lie.
I find Bill's explanation of our dilemma to be consistent with what I 
understand to be the mater and the spirit of /Hamlet /and with what I 
understand to be the matter and the spirit of /The Alexandria Quartet/.  

That Bill's explanation holds up when set to the touchstone of /Hamlet 
/and the /Quartet /means something, I think.

I would not worry about Barthes & co., Bruce.  I do not believe anyone 
else has brought up any esoteric terms or continental theories of 
writing and reading and understanding that are not already apart of what 
Durrell or Shax or Montaigne each understood to be the case.  So let us 
just work with the materials at hand.  Durrell and Shax and Montaigne 
were all steeped in skepticism.  I look to /Hamlet /and to the /Quartet 
/for my formative ideas about literature and about reading.  They are 
dark, difficult pleasures, indeed.


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

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