[ilds] ILDS Digest, Oct. 4-5-- Education of great writers

Edward Hungerford eahunger at charter.net
Tue Oct 6 21:00:23 PDT 2009

On Oct 5, 2009, at 12:00 PM, ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>    1. Oxbridge (Bruce Redwine)
>    2. Re: Oscar Epfs (Bruce Redwine)
>    3. Re: Selected Fictions (Godshalk, William (godshawl))
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Re:  --  Oxbridge or Cambridge

Several of the corespondents on the List seem to define great writers 
(and even 20th cent. writers) as exclusively male.  I see no reference 
to either Virginia Woolf or Katherine Mansfield, or for that  matter 
other feminine writers (There were some good ones.)    As to education, 
aren't you all forgetting that D. H . Lawrence never attended anything 
other than a redbrick teachers college?  Perhaps there are those who do 
not consider Lawrence a great writer? V.  Woolf had her main 
educational system entirely at home, in her father's library.   She 
lived among Cambridge graduates such as Leonard Woolf and Lytton 
Strachey, and in adulthood often lunched among the Cambridge colleges 
with  friends, but did not study there.  (She also studied Latin and 
Greek with capable WOMEN  tutors and taught herself Russian. ) K. 
Mansfield, brought up in New Zealand, got to England when she was 17, 
but never reached, or considered it necessary, to go to Oxford or 
Cambridge.     Ed Hungerford

> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 4 Oct 2009 12:21:23 -0700
> From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> Subject: [ilds] Oxbridge
> To: Durrell list <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>, Ilyas <ilyas.khan at crosby.com>
> Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> Message-ID: <E9C8D514-1E0A-41F7-A006-0ABFB6F9938A at earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Ilyas,
> Before I read MacNiven, I took Durrell at his word and assumed he
> failed the entrance exams to Cambridge.  MacNiven presents another
> view, fairly convincingly, given the lack evidence, that Durrell never
> even tried to get into Oxbridge.  In either case, I think he was later
> disappointed, as you state, at never attending one of those
> universities.  Like you, I see his attempt, either real or imagined,
> as a "failure," which he later uses in his various fictions.  Most of
> the great writers of English letters in the 20th century attended a
> British university.  The only one who didn't -- correct me if I'm
> wrong -- was George Orwell, although he went through Eton.  (Remember
> the sarcasm attached to "Eton boy," smacking of envy, somewhere in the
> Quartet.)  As Sumantra notes, many of these writers barely got through
> their schools and ended up with third class degrees.  Nevertheless,
> they had that certificate, which was a stamp of approval and entry-
> pass into English society.  The English seem impressed by degrees;
> I've seen many a card listing degrees and awards.  E.g., "John Doe,
> BA, MA, Cantab., OBE, etc."
> Bruce
> On Oct 4, 2009, at 6:31 AM, Ilyas wrote:

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