I’ve been listening to a lot of people talk about literature recently. When I hear/think of the word literature I think of leather or canvas bound dusty books, with their distinctive smell of paper, glue, & dust. I love the smell & texture of old books, especially if you’re in a grand library.
I also think about my education. I think I’ll blame Political Correctness. In my high school & university there was a major push for diversity, especially by the English departments. Whether they were tired of teaching the classics or it was a personal matter I’m not sure.
In my high school, they barely taught any of the classics: Shakespeare, Keynes, Faulkner, etc. Instead we read books about poor ethnic Americans; though limited to Mexican & black Americans.. (My school was made up of people from many ethnic, religions, & economic backgrounds.) Being that we were already a diverse group & some of us, like myself, had traveled a lot into diverse zones. It was almost like the English teachers themselves had the ethnic blinders on.
Interestingly in my lower school (at the same school), I read more classics. Such as I read Ulysses in 4th grade. I’ve read most of the classics on my own, but I do blame my school for not teaching them. As much as I believe all art is what you choose to make of it, often having a discussion with others (in a class room or dinner party) can increase your appreciation of it.