Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Long Distance Wow

One of the pleasures of reading history and great literature is the discovery that people centuries ago were grappling with the same problems we face today. For the most part, their solutions were getting the same results.

When I was young, I thought that the writers of classical literature were inhibited from discussing the grit of life due to prudishness or censorship but no, it's all there. Late last night, while reading a portion of The Idiot, I had to put down the book and say, "Wow!" Not the most eloquent response perhaps, but a feeble affirmation of a great writer's ability to reveal an instantly resonating insight into how people behave. I would have never gotten that particular slant as powerfully from a textbook or a lecture.


Cultural Offering said...

On my list of things to do is: Develop a curriculum built on texts versus textbooks. . .literature, history texts, poems. The benfits would be many but two that jump right out are the improvement in the quality and depth of learning and reintroducing students to the excitement of great books.

Michael Wade said...


That's a great idea! There is a wealth of knowledge that can be found in and conveyed via literature.