--DIARY.............................................................. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .
Eunice de Souza: Bombay Diary: Lawrence in India A FEW weeks ago the British Council commemorated the 50th anniversary of D. H. Lawrence'sdeath with a week-long programme which included three commissioned lectures, an exhibition of books and pictures, and the screening of Women in Love.
Two of these three lectures were given by 'senior' and 'established'academics. (I gave the third.) W!! were asked to choose specific themes and discuss them in depth, and to speak for exactly an hour. The first speaker took an hour and a half and even then was reluctant to stop. The second spoke for 40 minutes. Both chose topics that allowed them to say anything and nothing: What Lawrence Believed was one topic, Lawrence's Indirections was the other. The British Council officer who thanked the professor concerned for his talk on Indirections said that he had never heard of the word before and first thought it was a misprint for 'indiscretions'. Now, however, he knew all about it. He was luckier than most of us who had a hard time keep-
ing up as the professor swept on from Lawrence's habits to Lawrence's rabbits . He even looked into the air at one point and smiled a little smile when talking about the rabbit Bismarck who was allegedly modelled on 'a rabbit the Lawrence children owned, as if recollecting a time when he and Lawrence played marbles together. He laughed indulgently when referring to 'women-libbers'and the sparse audience laughed in a fat, complacent way with him.
The other fellow spent 15 minutes telling us what Lawrence meant to him in his youth, always a good ploy for 1cutting down on the time required to !prepare for a lecture. After that he took one statement each by Cyril Connolly, T. S. Eliot , Anne Smith, and Eunice de Souza (who remained unnamed) and eight by Robert Graves 'and Alan Hodges and proceeded to dismiss each with a curt phrase or what he took to be a witty sally. Here is a sample of the level of his discussion . ' I t is nonsense to suggest that
Lawrence wanted women to be submissive. He was a thin man and so .couldn't have wanted them to be submissive.' (sic) This horror is on seminar ciicuits in India and abroad, and no magazine is complete without his pronouncements. The Sunday !Review section of the Times of India recently started to carry a weekly column by him in which he pronounces, with Olympian exasperation, on the shortcomings of Man. A .reviewer praised this speaker for his 'balance' and for his 'sense of humour'.
These two horrors are by no means untypical. English Departments here are plagued by teachers who think that showing your appreciation of art means breathing heavily when talking about it, that analysis destroys art and literature, that art and literature have nothing to do with politics or with anything else. Particularly in a situation such as ours in India, ·students want to know what personal or social sense a text can make to
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