Thursday, March 5, 2009

A quote...

...from my strongest influence to educate myself classically on educating one's self classically.

"There is a strange idea abroad that in every subject the ancient books should be read only by the professionals, and that the amateur should content himself with the modern books. Thus I have found as a tutor in English Literature that if the average student wants to find out something about Platonism, the very last thing he thinks of doing is to take a translation of Plato off the library shelf and read the Symposium. He would rather read some dreary modern book ten times as long, all about “isms” and influences and only once in twelve pages telling him what Plato actually said.


The error is rather an amiable one, for it springs from humility. The student is half afraid to meet one of the great philosophers face to face. He feels himself inadequate and thinks he will not understand him. But if he only knew, the great man, just because of his greatness, is much more intelligible than his modern commentator." ~C.S. Lewis

2 comments:

Barbara said...

Very interesting... Any suggestions? I wouldn't know where to go or what to look for; duhhhhh...

Bethgem said...

Have you read The Abolition of Man?

Now, what I would give to find a book discussion group (outside of a classical school), that actually read classics written prior to the 20th century.