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The Vanished Library’

In response to:

The Vanished Library from the March 7, 1991 issue

To the Editors:

In his last reply Prof. Lloyd-Jones finds that my book The Vanished Library is “confusing” in its arrangement on the point of the Arabian destruction of the Alexandrian Library [NYR, March 7]. To overcome this difficulty my advice to Prof. Lloyd-Jones is to read page 87 of The Vanished Library. At any rate I promise that my next book will be equipped with a graduate vademecum-guidance for beginners, for advanced and for specialist readers.

Luciano Canfora
Università degli Studi di Bari
Bari, Italy

Hugh Lloyd-Jones replies:

I made it clear in my review that Part II of Professor Canfora’s book was “decidedly more scholarly than Part I,” and also that in Part II he took a view of the main causes of destruction of the library similar to my own. What causes the confusion is the uneasy relation of the more scholarly Part II to the more popular Part I, evidently affected by what I called “the attempt to secure a cheap popular success.”

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