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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: July ::
Harold Bloom on Teaching Shakespeare, etc
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1419  Tuesday, 13 July 2004

From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Monday, 12 Jul 2004 06:18:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 15.1409 Harold Bloom on Teaching Shakespeare, etc
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1409 Harold Bloom on Teaching Shakespeare, etc

Richard Burt writes, "Who are the readers and who are the nonreaders?
It's not as simple as you might think...It's a broad generic distinction
between the people who have a fundamental passion for books and those
who don't. We haven't yet found an adequate way to explain it and,
frankly, I'm not sure that even education can affect it."

OK: give us a break will you.  *Education* is the *reason* reading is
down.  Ever been in a first-or-second grade classroom as a teacher?  I
have.  Ever seen their texts?  God-awful!  And the tests, multiple
choice?  God-awful.

OK: you *want* readers and writers?  Start them reading and writing
about stuff they are interested in: themselves.  Start with notebooks
filled with themselves, their friends, their interests, and throw all
the mass-produced, mass-selected, mass-marketed texts in the wastebasket.

OK: once they can *read* and *write* then they'll take interest in your
esoteric stuff.  Listen, I know so-called *educated* adults who pass us
in the real world all the time who have read less than four books in
their lives.  Ask around, it's an interesting statistic!  Call that
*society*?  Call our system *educational*?  Computers are used by youths
for downloading music and games.  America has a quarter billion
people--and half are not readers and writers.  You cannot be proud of
American education.  I was in *IT* and could not turn the Titanic from
the iceberg.  Period.

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

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