[ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 31, Issue 7_Message: 2_University

Sumantra Nag sumantranag at gmail.com
Sat Oct 10 05:15:00 PDT 2009


Bruce: "Durrell  probably got a good education at his, before he went out 
into the  world.  He seems to know his Latin. What he missed and could have 
profited from, I think, was the critical exercise of going one on one  with 
a tutor."

I found it interesting to take the case of Vladimir Nabokov who was at 
Cambridge University between 1919 and 1923, getting a good honours degree 
and even sometimes excelling in Russian and French, subjects to which he 
changed after having initially started with zoology. His brother Segei was 
also with him in Cambridge and so, it seems, were other Russian students, at 
least some of whom, like Nabokov himself, were from aristocratic 
backgrounds. But Vladimir Nabokov seemed to have had a capacity for hard 
work which he applied to his academic field while he continued to write 
poetry. His early training in French, Russian and English may have also 
helped him to perform well. Although Nabokov's family was immensely wealthy 
in Russia, they came to England as emigres after the Bolshevik revolution so 
money was not available in excess. An interesting point is that with his 
family members in England or in Europe (Berlin) Vladimir Nabokov spent his 
holidays in their company. His father was shot dead in Berlin while he was 
still in Cambridge.

Sumantra
-----------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2009 14:15:39 -0700
> From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> Subject: [ilds] English Public Schools
> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
> Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> Message-ID: <0AB939D4-797B-4B89-8809-05044F253D24 at earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
> Sumantra, yes, the English public schools ("private" in American
> terms) are superior educational institutions and excel at preparing
> their students for the university.  They have other reputations,
> however, and it's always interesting to read Orwell's "Such, such were
> the joys" for another perspective.  The essay describes the social
> climate at St. Cyprian's, before Orwell attended Eton.  Durrell
> probably got a good education at his, before he went out into the
> world.  He seems to know his Latin.  What he missed and could have
> profited from, I think, was the critical exercise of going one on one
> with a tutor.  A situation where one writes a weekly essay and then
> has to defend it word for word, assuming that was and is the process
> at one of the Oxbridge colleges.  If he had done that, he might have
> avoided some of his questionable remarks on literature and the sciences.
>
>
> Bruce
>



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