[ilds] those damn academics!

Robin Collins robin.w.collins at gmail.com
Mon Mar 28 12:51:54 PDT 2016

> In other words in plain words, understandable by the "common reader"and the next door grocer. They are not so stupid after all. What is to avoid is to speak about simple texts using high flown words and post-modern lingos neglecting solidly established facts...
> Actually, Bitter Lemons was an awkward attempt to white-wash the blind British policies in dealing with the decades-old demand of Greeks (including Cavafy) and Creek-Cypriots for self determination.


Aha, "simplicity"; so your plan is to dump on all those oh-so-snobby academic sophisticates and clarify, like a green grocer, the simple things they've missed, what we dumb ones might be led to by them, and show us what the true meanings really are -- the simple truths. Good luck with that. I think that your continuation on this list is proof you actually enjoy (as do I) the back and forths of the academics. The texts, the connections, the words, the obscurity.  Makes me want to read the books!

I've read Justine only once, maybe 40 years ago, and all I remember of it was that if I ever became a writer, I'd like to write like that, despite the heavy slogging. I read Bitter Lemons around the same time, and thought the same thing. What beautiful writing! I was led to Bitter Lemons by a comment by brother Gerald Durrell who'd written that this was his favourite book by his brother. Not the fiction that made him famous. Then after BL and J, I read Lawrence's humourous look at diplomacy, and then The Black Labyrinth -- the only scene I seem to remember of the latter was that there was some nudity near the end?

The irony was that what I learned through the experience of reading LD was that (can I say this here?) brother Gerald Durrell wasn't a very good writer. He wrote for the cash to fuel his zoo, and every of his books (the ones I read) was exactly the same. Got up, went to exotic location, captured some animals, brought them back, the end. Plodding like a boring green grocer. 

I really admire the collegiality of this listserv, plan to re-read the full Quartet soon as I can spare the time (I think I got through 2 of them in my 20s), and all the travel works, see if my enthusiasm remains, and then top it all off by going to one of the ILD society's meetings, before I die. Preferably is an exotic Mediterranean location. This list is a primary stimulus for all of the above, including your contrary contributions, Panayotis. What a treat.

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