Lit. Crit. (was: Re: More than you ever wanted to know (was
Re: answers from Diana))
ncase at hedbergmaps.com
Thu May 31 14:50:24 EDT 2001
>On Wed, 30 May 2001 Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk wrote:
>> On the other other hand, when someone in my class - probably me -
>> discovered that one of the options we could have taken was science
>> fiction, Mr E---- said something like "It may be fun to read, but
>> you wouldn't want to study it", a classic case of literary bias,
>> though I didn't realise it at the time.
>Or perhaps it was meant literally.
>(One recalls many horror stories about books being ruined for life
>under the dissection of English Lit. classes...)
Seems to me we're talking about the same problems the students are
dealing with in YOTG: the subject matter as seen by the students is
itself distorted by generations of mediocre teaching. Not that It's
the teacher's fault, or really any individual's. It's just the
accumulation of lots of decisions made based on that basic human fear
of losing one's position (as student, teacher or administrator) when
threatened by those who don't understand the need for risk or the
complexities of the immediate problem.
I hated English criticism in High School, but eventually learned to
make it a game, played with the teacher: I'll come up with an
interesting compare and contrast, and amuse myself with that, and if
it's compelling enough, they'll ignore the fact that I only address a
few pages... Frankly, I think one of my biggest problem with English
class was the pace we were supposed to read (and I know even AP
English has nothing on serious College or Grad School reading loads.
It's like being forced to evaluate wines based on swish-and-spit,
especially if you're a slow reader (which I am when it isn't
something easy to devour).
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