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Myth of the Classically Educated

2021-11-17 18:49:04.902441+01 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

I remember my teens, and even early twenties, when I thought it was important to read all of the classics and philosophers and such (and I wondered why nobody else was familiar with all the literature I was). This is a good read on that folly: LA Review of Books: The Myth of the Classically Educated Elite

I think it's also a remnant of a time when media was more expensive to produce, so "mass media" meant something different. Dave Polaschek observed that there's some survivorship bias, but I'd offer that much of the survivorship is about what supports the existing dominant social structure.

[ related topics: Books Journalism and Media ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Myth of the Classically Educated made: 2021-11-18 13:41:28.816088+01 by: ebradway

Why should you struggle through dusty old tomes filled with allusions to then- contemporary events when you can find the same themes in modern literature and some of it voiced by folks who aren't white males? There may be some germ of brilliance in the old books, but mostly it's to facilitate communication among the elite. For instance, why learn Latin other than to communicate with priests?

#Comment Re: Myth of the Classically Educated made: 2021-11-18 21:46:58.737574+01 by: markd

Latin (and Greek) have their uses for being able to parse many words in the language that might be unfamiliar. Now, having to read Lord of the Flies is a complete waste of everyone's time, outside of giving a common touchstone for mockery.

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