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By William March

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Sample text

He looked at them vaguely, but he wasn't really interested 'I'm Gil Molari,’ he said. ' 'No—not any more, anyhow. I'm from California, a small town south of LA. ' 'Me too. I'm a postgrad, doing research in psychology. ' 'I've got a flat on some kind of off-campus estate. It's run by something called a housing association, but it's all university people—staff, technicians, postgrads. ' He only just managed to get the last question in before the music started again. I had to answer with a nod. He grinned when I accepted the drink.

Maybe Jackie Collins really can scale those heights of ecstasy she writes about. Maybe Barbara Cartland really can get blown away simply by being in love. Maybe I could have followed that route, if only I had found the right man (not Gil), but I don't think so. I certainly don't think that Maldureve was simply the right man: my Lord Byron, my Rhett Butler. He got me to where I wanted to be not because he was handsome, charming or overpowering, or because I was ‘in love’ with him, and certainly not by virtue of the awesome power of his utterly uninterested phallus.

We all listened politely while Dr Gray tried to explain to us that his job was not to tell us the truth, but merely to challenge whatever beliefs we happened to have or to adopt, in order to subject them to a proper trial by ordeal. I didn't understand. I simply assumed, on the basis of common sense and past experience, that what a teacher was supposed to do was to tell you the truth and explain it carefully, so that you'd know why it was true. Even though I did know—in spite of Dr Gray's fears—that much of philosophy had to do with trying to decide what the word ‘truth’ actually meant and what ‘an explanation’ actually was, I was still slow to understand that Dr Gray's method of teaching really was teaching, and not cruel mockery.

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