By L. Morrissey

ISBN-10: 1137049162

ISBN-13: 9781137049162

ISBN-10: 1403968209

ISBN-13: 9781403968203

Over the prior twenty years, the controversy over the 'Great Books' has been one of many key public controversies in regards to the cultural content material of upper schooling. Debating the Canon presents a primary-source review of those ongoing arguments. a lot of those contributions to this debate have completed 'canonical' prestige themselves; during the specialize in the canon, the whole spectrum of techniques to literary reports will be noticeable within the essays. consequently, this assortment locations the new debate inside of a bigger context of literary criticism's improvement of a canon, going again to the eighteenth century.

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The notion of the free play of the mind upon all subjects being a pleasure in itself, being an object of desire, being an essential provider of elements without which a nation’s spirit, whatever compensations it may have for them, must, in the long run, die of inanition, hardly enters into an Englishman’s thoughts. It is noticeable that the word curiosity, which in other languages is used in a good sense, to mean, as a high and fine quality of man’s nature, just this disinterested love of a free play of the mind on all subjects, for its own sake,—it is noticeable, I say, that this word has in our language no sense of the kind, no sense but a rather bad and disparaging one.

They were kept alive by the demands of their work upon their minds; they were propped up artificially, as it were, by external forces. But as soon as those demands cease, having no resources within themselves in the way of mental activity, they cease thinking altogether, and expire. Television, radio, and all the sources of amusement and information that surround us in our daily lives are also artificial props. They can give us the impression that our minds are active, because we are required to react to stimuli from outside.

And he is not likely to know what is to be done unless he lives in what is not merely the present, but the present moment of the past, unless he is conscious, not of what is dead, but of what is already living. * The mind is doubtless something more divine and unaffected. R. Leavis (1895–1978) from Mass Civilization and Minority Culture (1933) “High-brow” is an ominous addition to the English language. I have said earlier that culture has always been in minority keeping. But the minority now is made conscious, not merely of an uncongenial, but of a hostile environment.

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Debating the Canon: A Reader from Addison to Nafisi by L. Morrissey

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