Letter: The many ways of saying 'I love you'

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Sir: Many thanks for printing the extract from George Steiner's inaugural lecture on comparative literature (12 October).

I teach a course in the Department of French Studies at the University of Birmingham, entitled 'Ethos and Expression'. This course focuses on texts by Louise Labe, Shakespeare, John Donne and Racine. All the works we study are, in different ways, concerned with love. The differences are illuminating. It would be impossible to teach this course in translation; sensitivity to the impact of every nuance in the poetry is essential.

I hope very much that the students who have chosen to add this optional course to their degree programme will emerge with something beyond a qualification to work in the EU. Perhaps they will also have acquired an awareness of their privilege in being native readers of English, a privilege which can only be enhanced by an extended sensibility.

Yours sincerely, JUDY SPROXTON University of Birmingham Birmingham