[ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 107, Issue 13

Sky Blue Press skybluepress at skybluepress.com
Tue Mar 29 09:26:17 PDT 2016


Hello Durrellians,

I'm trying to find out who owns rights to Alfred Perlès' works--I'm
publishing a book on Henry Miller in which I'd like to include Fred's last
letter to Henry, just days before the latter's death. I was told to check
with Association Lawrence Durrell en Languedoc in Sommieres, but their
e-mail is defunct. I'm hoping someone on the list can pass along my request,
which is below.

Chers Messieurs:
Je suis éditeur de Sky Blue Press aux Etats-Unis et je voudrais publier une
lettre par Alfred Perlès dans un livre sur Henry Miller. Pourriez-vous me
dire qui est le propriétaire des droits pour cette lettre ? Je voudrais
obtenir permission, mais je ne sais pas de qui.
Merci tellement,
Paul Herron, Sky Blue Press

Any help is much appreciated!
Paul

-----Original Message-----
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Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016 2:01 PM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: ILDS Digest, Vol 107, Issue 13

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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: Reading Literature (Kennedy Gammage)
   2. Re: Reading Literature (William Apt)
   3. Re: Reading Literature (Denise Tart & David Green)
   4. Re: Reading Literature (William Apt)
   5. Re: Mr. Esposito (Panaiotis Gerontopoulos)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 16:17:06 -0700
From: Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Reading Literature
Message-ID:
	<CANDhJnQt_DjKPZ56=8WwdgXD_HsQBbkroKU5+c7Vhq9GbOKUAA at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

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 that?

- Ken

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

> 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
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>
>
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Message: 2
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 19:27:21 -0500
From: William Apt <billyapt at gmail.com>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Reading Literature
Message-ID: <D465FFB1-E50B-4DE2-900F-C2A9B11881DC at gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Ken:

Bill, Charles and Jamie's generous clarifications of the more obscure parts
of Justine were wonderfully helpful. That was the reason I joined ILDS. Am
re-reading Prospero now in anticipation of the Corfu leg of my trip this
June, prior to Crete, and, after Prospero, am going to make the effort to
try and tackle Swan's Way - and after that a whole slew of other stuff
(including the final installment of Fermor's "Great Trudge") - so while I
would like to re-read Balthazar, which I loved, my plate is full right now.
However, I will follow with enthusiasm the commentary of others should the
group decide to undertake the task. 

I look forward to seeing everyone in June and to many wine fueled
discussions by the wine dark sea! 

Billy

PS:  I was fortunate to meet Bill at the London conference and liked him
immediately and immensely. Was so sorry he passed so soon thereafter and
that it was to be our only encounter. 

WILLIAM APT
Attorney at Law
812 San Antonio St, Ste 401
Austin TX 78701
512/708-8300
512/708-8011 FAX

> On Mar 27, 2016, at 6:17 PM, Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com>
wrote:
> 
> 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 that?
> 
> - Ken
> 
>> On Sun, Mar 27, 2016 at 11:03 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at gmail.com>
wrote:
>> 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 li!
 terature.
>> 
>> 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
>> 
>> 
>> _______________________________________________
>> ILDS mailing list
>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
> 
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
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Message: 3
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2016 11:49:31 +1100
From: Denise Tart & David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Reading Literature
Message-ID: <78D4A44A-0823-4A57-A6B4-BC2F0F94395F at bigpond.net.au>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Sounds like a great trip William. The wine fuelled discussions appeal. Sadly
I am unable to travel OS this year. Haven't seen Corfu since 1985. Bet it's
changed a lot? Hopefully not too much. Have a bottle or two for me. I'm
working on Tunc and Nunquam. Will post thoughts as I go.

David

Sent from my iPad

> On 28 Mar 2016, at 11:27 AM, William Apt <billyapt at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Ken:
> 
> Bill, Charles and Jamie's generous clarifications of the more obscure
parts of Justine were wonderfully helpful. That was the reason I joined
ILDS. Am re-reading Prospero now in anticipation of the Corfu leg of my trip
this June, prior to Crete, and, after Prospero, am going to make the effort
to try and tackle Swan's Way - and after that a whole slew of other stuff
(including the final installment of Fermor's "Great Trudge") - so while I
would like to re-read Balthazar, which I loved, my plate is full right now.
However, I will follow with enthusiasm the commentary of others should the
group decide to undertake the task. 
> 
> I look forward to seeing everyone in June and to many wine fueled
discussions by the wine dark sea! 
> 
> Billy
> 
> PS:  I was fortunate to meet Bill at the London conference and liked him
immediately and immensely. Was so sorry he passed so soon thereafter and
that it was to be our only encounter. 
> 
> WILLIAM APT
> Attorney at Law
> 812 San Antonio St, Ste 401
> Austin TX 78701
> 512/708-8300
> 512/708-8011 FAX
> 
>> On Mar 27, 2016, at 6:17 PM, Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com>
wrote:
>> 
>> 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 that?
>> 
>> - Ken
>> 
>>> On Sun, Mar 27, 2016 at 11:03 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at gmail.com>
wrote:
>>> 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 l!
 iterature.
>>> 
>>> 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
>>> 
>>> 
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> ILDS mailing list
>>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>> 
>> _______________________________________________
>> ILDS mailing list
>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
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Message: 4
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 21:30:51 -0500
From: William Apt <billyapt at gmail.com>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Reading Literature
Message-ID: <93E0D8F9-7C15-470A-B2B7-080B836114FB at gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Sounds good, David: will do! I always enjoy yr posts....

WILLIAM APT
Attorney at Law
812 San Antonio St, Ste 401
Austin TX 78701
512/708-8300
512/708-8011 FAX

> On Mar 27, 2016, at 7:49 PM, Denise Tart & David Green
<dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
> 
> Sounds like a great trip William. The wine fuelled discussions appeal.
Sadly I am unable to travel OS this year. Haven't seen Corfu since 1985. Bet
it's changed a lot? Hopefully not too much. Have a bottle or two for me. I'm
working on Tunc and Nunquam. Will post thoughts as I go.
> 
> David
> 
> Sent from my iPad
> 
>> On 28 Mar 2016, at 11:27 AM, William Apt <billyapt at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>> Ken:
>> 
>> Bill, Charles and Jamie's generous clarifications of the more obscure
parts of Justine were wonderfully helpful. That was the reason I joined
ILDS. Am re-reading Prospero now in anticipation of the Corfu leg of my trip
this June, prior to Crete, and, after Prospero, am going to make the effort
to try and tackle Swan's Way - and after that a whole slew of other stuff
(including the final installment of Fermor's "Great Trudge") - so while I
would like to re-read Balthazar, which I loved, my plate is full right now.
However, I will follow with enthusiasm the commentary of others should the
group decide to undertake the task. 
>> 
>> I look forward to seeing everyone in June and to many wine fueled
discussions by the wine dark sea! 
>> 
>> Billy
>> 
>> PS:  I was fortunate to meet Bill at the London conference and liked him
immediately and immensely. Was so sorry he passed so soon thereafter and
that it was to be our only encounter. 
>> 
>> WILLIAM APT
>> Attorney at Law
>> 812 San Antonio St, Ste 401
>> Austin TX 78701
>> 512/708-8300
>> 512/708-8011 FAX
>> 
>>> On Mar 27, 2016, at 6:17 PM, Kennedy Gammage <gammage.kennedy at gmail.com>
wrote:
>>> 
>>> 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 that?
>>> 
>>> - Ken
>>> 
>>>> On Sun, Mar 27, 2016 at 11:03 AM, Bruce Redwine
<bredwine1968 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> 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
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> ILDS mailing list
>>>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>>>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>>> 
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> ILDS mailing list
>>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
>> _______________________________________________
>> ILDS mailing list
>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
> _______________________________________________
> ILDS mailing list
> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds
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Message: 5
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2016 21:45:13 +0300
From: Panaiotis Gerontopoulos <pan.gero at hotmail.com>
To: "ilds at lists.uvic.ca" <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Subject: Re: [ilds] Mr. Esposito
Message-ID: <DUB120-W1880E95A16A36A1EE70CF981860 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"

Whack, pow, thud. bang! Uurrah for teachers and critics, beware of and shame
to irriverent grocers and pub-tenants dealing with high literature seated on
their toilets where they belong. We heard all this, in this List in the few
past days. The fact is that nobody put in question the need to have teachers
and critics, provided they base their teachings and critiques on the
contents of a text and on what we know about the circumstances under which
the author wrote it. 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.
Good examples of the accomplisments of this school of thaught are the
various readings of Bitter Lemons as a marvellous travel book, taking  in
serious the first words written in 1957 by Lawrence Durrell in his preface:
           This is not a political book, but simply a somewhat
impressionistic study of the moods and atmpspheres of Cyprus during the
troubled years years 1953-1956.
In 1957, the atmosphere in Cyprus continued to be troubled and in December,
Bitter Lemons won for its author the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize. The Queen
Mother told him during the ad hoc ceremony held at Kensington Palace that
she had enjoyed the book and Lord Salisbury, top exponent of the
ultra-conservative Tories asking for tougher measures against the revolted
Cyps, disected the book with a tender little speech (Mac Niven, A Biography,
464). 
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. Durrell was not a
policy-maker and he is not to blame if he lied for his country but make of
him a Philhellene is quite another story. Nonetheless, at the insistance of
Dr. Spyros Georgas, "physician of elderly British aristocrats and retired
civil servants who moved in the island from India in the 50s and 60s" and
Richard Price [Pine?] director of the Durrell School of Corfu, the Bosketto
Park of Corfu was renamed in 2006 Durrell Park (Helena Smith, the Guardian,
September 22, 2006). In addition, in 2008, the Municipality of Corfu erected
in the Park two brass-busts to honor furtherly the two authors and
philhellene brothers.
I believe that if Bitter Lemons were read with the pragmatism of a grocer,
taking into account Durrell's letter to the Governor of Cyprus on February
17 1954, published by Barbara Papastavrou-Koroniotaki this embarassing
situation could have been avoided and if only they could both brothers would
agree. 
Panayotis Gerontopoulos
From: dtart at bigpond.net.au
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 07:55:35 +1100
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Mr. Esposito

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
On 27 Mar 2016, at 5:16 AM, Frederick Schoff <frederick.schoff at gmail.com>
wrote:


This matches my own experience. I found my literature classes in college
stultifying. I would show up with enthusiasm after reading, say, Faulkner or
Woolf, and left wondering 'What book(s) did these people read?'. They were
too busy talking about various references (presumably to show their
erudition) to discuss the actual book. I was only bored, and bid adieu to
lit classes. One reason I like Durrell so much is that he seems unique.

On Mar 26, 2016, at 2:17 AM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
wrote:

What teacher employs a 'method'? My view of teaching literature does not
amount to a 'method'! It is a way of looking at texts without recourse to
the opinions and aesthetic perceptions of any except the teacher and his/her
students.
I do not argue with the view that a text can be explicated, teased out,
probed, but it is like a mine - you delve in to extract whatever ore you can
discover, not what a mineralogist tells you to discover. A good teacher
shows you the way - hands you a drill, even a stick of dynamite! but
essentially the relationship is you and the text. 
When - many years ago! - I was a student our teacher presented us with
Eliot's The Waste Land and pointed us towards Jessie Weston's "From Ritual
to Romance" - why? because Eliot makes specific reference to her work, and
suddenly a whole world of the Grail Quest, the meaning of the Waste Land and
the Fisher King, was opened up to us. But Weston was an integral part of the
poem, not an external aid to comprehension. We needed nothing other than
what was on the page and what stood behind the page. 
That same teacher offered us what he referred to as 'a medieval maxim','Man
by the exercise of his free will fulfils the pattern of his destiny'. I have
spent sixty years trying to find the source of that, and failing, but I
never cease to bless the man who provided it. (Does anyone know its source?)
Of course we need to discuss what is 'meant' by the text. Keats's (and I
refer to the author of 'Ode to a Nightingale', not Durrell's character!)
'beauty is truth, truth beauty...' could occupy a reader delightfully for a
lifetime and never yield its meaning, but no amount of help from Messieurs
Derrida or Ricoeur can make an iota of difference to our own judgement. I
think many critics suffer from a lack of an ability to make judgements of
their own, and fall back vicariously on sources like les messieurs (for whom
I do have considerable respect) rather than make the big jump towards
shaping their own innate aesthetic.
James Esposito


On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 6:19 PM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
wrote:
I don't think your method will result in much enlightenment.
Bruce

Sent from my iPhone
On Mar 25, 2016, at 9:08 AM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
wrote:

I am very sorry indeed to learn that you disagree with the following
statement:
"Education surely exists to enlighten young minds (and older!) and to give
them a better understanding of themselves and the world."
James Esposito
 
On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 5:55 PM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
wrote:
This whole approach seems to me a grossly oversimplified approach to the
appreciation and teaching of literature, which after all is not some
exercise in logical positivism.  Words are tricky and not reducible to pat
meanings, and how writers use words is even far more complex.  So I disagree
with all your statements.
Bruce

Sent from my iPhone
On Mar 25, 2016, at 1:58 AM, james Esposito <giacomoesposito72 at gmail.com>
wrote:

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>
wrote:
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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