Saturday, June 13, 2015

Britannica Great Books coda

Why not make a stunt journalism project?

On first blush the challenge of the 50+ volumes makes the set worthy material for an AJ Jacobs-like stunt journalism project, something like: "The year of reading the Great Books". I myself thought about it, but I found it unviable. Setting a deadline, an a short one at that, and adding to it the relative difficulty of the texts, is a recipe for wasted effort in my opinion. The texts just don't lend themselves to charging through them, nor you would want to if you are to reap what they have to offer. Even if you could somehow finish the project the resulting account, or blog posts, are bound to be mostly uneventful and uninteresting. There is no mirth, embarrassment or family crises, which are the prime material for stunt accounts, in just reading . There is certainly life-changing stuff here, but it takes years for it to work its magic and the changes are mostly internal, not something readily apparent to onlookers. Notwithstanding, there are at least a couple of books that do relate what's like to read great books in general and so here are their brief mention if you want to look into them (I've not read them myself so I cannot speak of their merits or goals).  These are Great Books by Denby and The Year of Reading Dangerously by Miller

Adler next time.


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