The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1041 Monday, 21 June 1999.
Date: Friday, 18 Jun 1999 12:20:40 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 10.1031 Re: Future of the Classics
Comment: Re: SHK 10.1031 Re: Future of the Classics
"Memorizing the Classics"
Hm. Innarestin'. It is of course one byproduct [dreadful word, isn't it?
From pigs' offal, I suppose...] of the Me society we are still
floundering in, bemused by our Lotos-Blossom daze, that our students are
so seldom encouraged to "learn by heart" much more than their telephone
numbers and the location of the slide-rules and calculators, as if
committing lines to memory would in some dire way interfere with their
creative potential by submitting themselves to the demon lovers of
Rather than provide anecdotal instances from my own childhood and thus
invite sneers, I shall just say that I have always found the ability to
quote accurately and well to be one of the distinguishing
characteristics of anyone, of any culture and background, who rightly
calls herself cultured. To have been thoroughly ravished in the biblical
sense of "known" by a work of heart is to have some of it in our
bloodstream. I really do think that too many of us who teach Shakespeare
have been, well....insufficiently buggered and biggered by the bard.