I have sometimes dreamt that when the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards — their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble — the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms, ‘Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them. They have loved reading.’”
In this fall writing and reading course we will explore ways of deepening our reading practice, reflecting on our reading history, and sharing with others the fruits of our reading. Themes we will consider include: courtesy and answerability, the canon and the syllabus, intensive and extensive reading, commonplace books (paper and digital), learning by heart, skimming, browsing, planning and spontaneity, slow reading, a saturation job, being a scholar of words, Kafka’s Axe, grateful dependence on translators, the joy of recommendation, and more.
Each session will feature one or more themes, and allow time for individual writing, paired exchange, and open forum. We’ll also discuss Alberto Manguel’s A History of Reading.
Between class sessions, participants will post reflections, lists, questions, responses, and recommendations at a class blog. Read the rest of this entry »