Think you know how to read, do you?
A new throng of authors wants to save literature from our nefarious English departments and teach us how to read their way. Now, class, pay attention.
By Tom Lutz
" . . . In 1939, Mortimer J. Adler excoriated "those who believe that all their leisure time should be devoted to the effortless pleasures of the movies, the radio, and light romances." He didn't write "How to Read a Book: The Art of Getting a Liberal Education" for such philistines, he says, and they "should not bother to read" it. "I am talking to the rest of us."
"Adler spends the majority of his book describing how to do close reading, trying to understand the text as written. But Adler's peroration suggests that a liberal education through reading the great books prepares citizens for responsible freedom, and argues that "reading the great books has been for naught unless we are concerned with bringing about a good society," an attitude Bloom and Prose would ascribe to the nasty politicized professors of our day."