Dear Mother… I’m continuing

Mother Pensive With Huge Glasses, JMN, photo. (C) 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.

Mother Pensive With Huge Glasses, JMN, photo. (C) 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.

“I’m continuing to read Jacques Barzun’s “Teacher in America,” written in the forties. He has a lot to say about what education really consists of (a lifelong endeavor), and I imagine a lot of his ideas would be sympathetic to the Grammarian. The current chapter is about the “classics.” He recommends that Shakespeare not be read until college, and says that more of the plays (not two, but six or eight) should be read at a faster pace, focusing on ideas and not dwelling on niceties of versification and the historical trivia that make the plays seem so foreign and “difficult” to the young modern reader. He doesn’t deny that such works, the “best sellers” of  their time, are difficult when read centuries later, but justifies the effort. I haven’t finished the chapter, so can’t really summarize the whole argument.”

[JMN, Correspondence, 1987]

(Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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