[ilds] Intolerance Wears a Veil

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Thu Aug 13 14:18:49 PDT 2009

Salut Marc!

As you know, we prefer the listerv open, despite disagreements (except 
in cases of unduly personal disputes).  I can only add that Durrell, of 
all people, was capable of his own share of pretentious intellectual 
bastardizations...  But aren't we all.

If I recall, your background is in design, so I can say directly that 
virtually everyone in the world has no idea what a serif is nor how it 
could relate to the readability of a text -- likewise, most readers have 
little or no interest in the historical or aesthetic elements of a given 
text.  So, I hope we can celebrate our individual "nothings".  I like my 
own in particular...  A better question might be why we value our own 
while needing to devalue others'.

To everyone on the list whom I owe a reply and am dreadfully behind, I 
can only say that I have poor internet access here and will try to 
respond quickly, but I'm not back in North America until late next 
week.  For the few who are interested, I'll come back with some archival 


Marc Piel wrote:
> "The Greeks and the Jews and the Romans and the 
> Christians and the Turks
> and the French and the English came and went. "
> ... and they were followed by pretentious 
> intellectual bastards, that although they were 
> using the richness to gain their daily bread, 
> could do nothing better than shit on it with fowl 
> lines of pretentious words that pretended to be 
> ..... I dare not use a word that has any meaning.
> There once was a man that wrote beautiful prose, 
> and beautiful poetry.... and a few "nothings" 
> tried to use it to show that they were 
> "something".... they did nothing but prove the 
> opposite.
> I doubt that these few lines will get past the 
> census, that maintains the lines of power over 
> this crap................
> Marc
> Charles Sligh a écrit :
>> Thanks for the Alexandrian report, Bruce.
>>>         *Alexandria* needs *“stable” community values*, he insisted.
>>>         *Sensuality*, if it means *sexuality*, is not part of *the
>>>         social equation*. Even *the library* — with its *museum* that
>>>         includes *pharaonic, Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic relics
>>>         *— is misguided, Mr. Saleh said.
>>>         “There, *Islam* is just one topic among many. We don’t like
>>>         those *naked Greek statues*. Anyway, *that’s over*. Islam
>>>         should have a special status at the library,” he said. “This
>>>         is *a Muslim city* in *a Muslim country*; that is our
>>>         *identity*.”
>> Where to begin discussion of those statements?
>> I have *deformed* the report in order to indicate what strikes me. 
>> I fancy that I tend to imagine history in terms of 1.000 to 2,000 year 
>> epochs. 
>> The City comes; the City goes--willy, nilly--Alexandria, she is always 
>> "leaving" us.
>> The Greeks and the Jews and the Romans and the Christians and the Turks 
>> and the French and the English came and went. 
>> The great poets of secular history, such as Cavafy, Kipling, and 
>> Durrell, teach me that Islam once came and someday, inevitably, will go. 
>> What new sect or cultus or tribe will follow?  Will anyone still be 
>> there to notice or to remember?
>> But I would rather have some actual present-day Alexandrians from the 
>> listserv commenting.
>> Charles
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