Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Old is new: on literature and Plutarch

by Anne White

from "The Teaching of English," by E.A. Abbott, 1868

The home-work should teach boys what is literature, the school-work what is thought. A beginning might be made with "Robinson Crusoe" and Byron's "Sennacherib," or some other short, intelligible, and powerful poem; then "Ivanhoe" and the "Armada"; then Plutarch's "Coriolanus"and the "Horatius Codes," Plutarch's "Julius Caesar" and Gray's "Ruin seize thee"; Plutarch's "Agis and Cleomenes" and the "Battle of Ivry"; then "Marmion"; then the "Allegro" and " Penseroso," or "Comus";  then (in the class in which those boys leave who are intended for commercial pursuits) Pope's "Iliad"; then part of the "Paradise Lost;" then part of the "Fairy Queen"; then Chaucer's "Knight's Tale" or Dante's "Inferno" (in English), or the "In  Memoriam," or some of the poems of Dryden, Pope, or Johnson...   A play of Shakespeare might be read during another term throughout almost every class in the school. Shakespeare and Plutarch's "Lives" are very devulgarizing books, and I should like every boy who leaves a middle-class school for business at the age of fifteen, suppose, or sixteen, to have read three or four plays of Shakespeare, three or four noble poems, and three or four nobly-written lives of noble Greeks and Romans. I should therefore like to see Plutarch's " Lives " in the hands of every English schoolboy; or, if it were necessary to make a selection, those biographies which best illustrate one's "duty toward one's country." 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

T.S. Eliot Talk Source Notes: Anne White

by Anne White

A bibliography of sorts for the Deep in the Heart of AO talk "Ends and Beginnings: What I Learned From T.S. Eliot."



"Somerset: Why Tom Loved the Last Word" (Telegraph article by Anthony Gardner)


Muscle Shoals (2013) (conversation with Gregg Allman)

Seymour: An Introduction (2014)