[ilds] Mr. Esposito

james Esposito giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com
Fri Mar 25 01:58:08 PDT 2016

By 'teaching their students how to enjoy texts' I meant that I see the
principal purpose of teaching as the widening of students' appreciation of
their chosen subject, be it literature, science or any other discipline.
Education surely exists to enlighten young minds (and older!) and to give
them a better understanding of themselves and the world. That may seem very
old-fashioned but I think such purposes are diminished by what Keats called
(paraphrase) unnecessary reaching out for reason - that is, the searching
for explanations of what, ultimately, cannot be explained - credo quia
absurdum. We owe it to ourselves and others (we, being teachers, writers
and readers) to focus primarily on what the texts say, not what they don't
say, or what a critic may think they say.
James Esposito

On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 1:25 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>

> I wonder what it means “to enjoy texts?”  Isn’t that what we’re doing?  I
> think James Gifford is on target.  And I, a non-academic, thank him for his
> insights, which increase my enjoyment.  Keep it up, James!
> Bruce
> > On Mar 24, 2016, at 3:32 PM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > I perhaps did not make myself clear on the subject of Durrell's
> relationship to the modernists. Of course he was well aware of the Eliots,
> Huxleys, etc, but what I meant was that we should not necessarily assume
> 'the anxiety of influence' - the fact that there are echoes of Eliot etc in
> Durrell's work does not allow us to infer that he deliberately set out to
> imitate them or to make obvious references to them - merely that, as a
> (still) apprentice writer in the first 2 novels he was setting out his own
> stall, not theirs.
> > And as for Keats, if I remember correctly, he got killed.
> > As for the mud bricks, I think it's completely far-fetched to read
> political persuasions into the fact that Durrell referred to a basic
> building material. They were just mud-bricks, not political slogans.
> > I think there is far too much time and effort spent on trying to analyse
> what Durrell may or may not have ingested into his writer's subconscious.
> It may be an amusing pastime for academics, but they should be teaching
> their students how to enjoy texts and not how to tear them apart. It isn't
> 'hunting of the snark' territory.
> > James Esposito
> >
> >
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