[ilds] Reading Literature

Kennedy Gammage gammage.kennedy at gmail.com
Sun Mar 27 16:17:06 PDT 2016

This listserv close reading of Justine from 2007 sounds amazing! I would
love to read it. I know that, whenever you ask for something like this, you
are specifically asking the busiest person we know to make it happen...so
we can wait, but if there was a link to it someday I know I would do the
deep dive. Of course everyone who knew him misses Bill Godshalk. A
world-class scholar with an epic sense of humor! Maybe we should try to
tackle Balthazar sometime in the near future. Billy Apt, what do you say to

- Ken

On Sun, Mar 27, 2016 at 11:03 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at gmail.com>

> I agree with David Green about how we go about reading literature.
> Academia has come in for a lot of criticism lately, but with respect to
> Lawrence Durrell, I’d like to point out what happened on this Listserv many
> years ago.  From about 2007 to 2008 (my dates are probably wrong), the List
> held a reading of *Justine* open to all-comers.  It was a close reading
> of the text, section by section.  The response was overwhelming; on an
> average day, I’d get about 40-50 emails on a given topic.  Those readings
> (most exchanges civil, some not) changed my views of Durrell’s most famous
> novel.  The discussions were moderated by William Godshalk, Charles Sligh,
> and James Gifford—all academics.  They did not impose their views, rather
> they offered their opinions and interpretations.  They all did a marvelous
> job, and I imagine they handled themselves on the List as they would in
> their classrooms.  So, let’s put a little perspective on what academia can
> do at its best in the study of literature.
> Bruce
> On Mar 26, 2016, at 1:55 PM, Denise Tart & David Green <
> dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
> Whack, pow, thud, academics cop another hit: teaching English lit badly.
> Well yes, I had that experience too but mainly because the texts seemed to
> be a pretext for teaching the socialist advance. But the scholarly world
> was a wonderful place full of books and bars and broads, not too mention
> alliteration and it here amongst all these appalling scholars that I
> discovered Wilde, Keats, Whitman etc and Lawrence George Durrell. The
> quartet I knew about, my mum had the set, but there were all these other
> books too. Durrell is unique for sure, a great writer and personality which
> the ilds, composed of many academics as I gather, has done much to promote.
> And yes, we may teach literature through a direct relationship between
> reader and text (a very Puritan approach) but this does not invalidate
> literary criticism, much of which is in fact very good, or context. Writers
> rarely exist in a vacuum. Much as Larry liked islands he too was part of a
> wider world which I sometimes think he did not like very much. His books
> often strike me as a revolt against the present, the future. I intend to
> mine Tunc and Nunquam in this vein.
> David Whitewine
> Sent from my iPad
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