Monday, July 11, 2016

Why ask why?

People can and do write, sometimes well and reflectively, about why we, the broad public educated enough to be aware of such things, should read novels, plays, poetry, fiction, literature, or most broadly of all, the classics.

Nobody writes why we should read academic literary criticism.

Why read the classics? by Italo Calvino.

And isn't this a silly question?

And if anyone objects that it is not worth taking so much trouble, then I will quote Cioran (who is not yet a classic, but will become one):
While they were preparing the hemlock, Socrates was learning a tune on the flute. “What good will it do you,” they asked, “to know this tune before you die?”
Everything we do is just something we do before we die.

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