Check out “Books I’ve Read This Year” at the top of the page or just click the link.
I’m currently teaching an intro fiction class to a group of students who are definitely not English majors. Instead, they’re studying business, computer networking, art, nursing. They are smart, analytical people but they don’t pursue literary fiction all that much.
So what am I doing with them? I’m making them extremely uncomfortable. I’m asking them to read literature. Sure, they knew this was coming when they purchased a big book of stories, poems, and plays from the campus bookstore. But that doesn’t mean they were going to like it.
A great author is coming to your town to promote their new work / internet meme. They may even sign a copy for you. You loved their previous book, so you go. You want to see what they look like in person, maybe they’re reading something new. They read, you enjoy it and then comes the Q&A. This has the potential to be the worst part of the whole thing, especially when these three questions are asked.
“The high school English teacher will be fulfilling his responsibility if he furnishes the student a guided opportunity, through the best writing of the past, to come, in time, to an understanding of the best writing of the present…And if the student finds that this is not to his taste? Well, that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.” — Flannery O’Connor
Read the whole essay here.