05w02:2 Good Reading

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 2 number 2 (good reading)

Today is Goodreads 1st birthday, and to celebrate, here is an article on autodidacticism. But before that, I feel I should acknowledge the following people who have in some way helped Goodreads over the past 12 months: Instant Coffee, Sarah Hollenberg, Izida Zorde, Chris Hand, Andrew Kear, Sally McKay, and Jennifer McMackon, thank you. As well, I should thank the following who have allowed Goodreads to host their content free of charge: AA Bronson, Andy Paterson, Greg Bear, Mark Kingwell, and Reid Cooper, it is much appreciated.
Also, last weekend in the National Post, RM Vaughan wrote an article about artists using the internet, and included Goodreads. With his permission, the article can be seen here. – Timothy

The Classics in the Slums | Jonathan Rose
“…like so many postmodern critics, Professor Smith could be naively confident that she was in full possession of the facts, even without the benefit of research. But her theory had no visible means of support. Whenever it was tested, the results were diametrically opposed to what she predicted: in fact ‘the canon’ enabled ‘the masses’ to become thinking individuals. Until fairly recently, Britain had an amazingly vital autodidact culture, where a large minority of the working classes passionately pursued classic literature, philosophy, and music. They were denied the educational privileges that Professor Smith enjoyed, but they knew that the ‘great books’ that she derided would emancipate the workers. […] Kurt Wootton taught English at a Providence high school where the students were almost all black and half of them dropped out before graduation. He assigned them Richard Wright’s Black Boy and jazz by John Coltrane, which they found hopelessly irrelevant. Then he organized ArtsLit, a summer program that brings students from Rhode Island’s worst high schools to the Brown University campus to study and perform Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, García Lorca’s Blood Wedding, Sophocles’ Antigone, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. And these long-dead authors clearly sent the kids a message, as high school teacher Richard Kinslow found when he had his ESL class prepare a production of Macbeth. One of his students was the type who got suspended about once a week, but he would sneak into school for the daily rehearsals. His motivation was precisely the same as Edith Hall’s. ‘These kids had never been actively involved in any part of school except gym and art,’ explained Kinslow. ‘Doing Shakespeare honored them. If you want to talk about self-respect and pride, it made a big difference.'”

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emailed by Timothy on Thursday 13 January 2005 @ 2:23 PM

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