《The Well-Educated Mind》的笔记-第50页
- 章节名：Chapter 4 Starting to Read: Final Preparations
- 页码：第50页 2014-08-27 05:09:42
P50When you read chronologically, you reunite two fields that should never have been separated in the first place: history and literature. To study literature is to study what people thought, did, believed, suffered for, and argued about in the past; this is history. And although we do learn from archaeological discoveries, our primary source of information about former times has always been the writings of people who lived in the past. History can't be detached from the study of the written word. Nor should literature be removed from its historical context. A novel can tell you more about a writer's times than a historical textbook; an autobiography reveals the soul of an entire society, not just the interior life of an individual man or woman. The sciences suffer when they are treated as a clear lens into "truth", because the theory of the biologist or astronomer or physicist has as much to do with the scientist's society -- and the questions that society is asking -- as it has to do with pure discovery.Writers build on the work of those who have gone before them, and chronological reading provides you with a continuous story. What you learn from one book will reappear in the next. But more than that: You'll find yourself following a story that has to do with the development of civilization itself. When you read through the poetry list... The structure of the poetry will change as each poet moves beyond what former writers have done. But beyond these technical differences, the concerns of the poets shift and change as the world itself hurtles toward modernity: away from the nature of heroism and the quest for eternal life, toward the difficulties of simple existence in a chaotic and planless world. When you've finished with this particular list, you've done more than read poetry. You have learned something about the spiritual evolution of the West.P51Some books speak to us at one time of life and are silent at another. If a book remains voiceless to you, put it down and read the next book on the list.You don't have to progress all the way through grammar-stage reading, logic-stage inquiry, and rhetoric-stage discussion for every book. If a book enthralls you, linger over it. If you just barely make it through the first reading and close it with relief, there's no reason to feel that you must go on to the next stage of inquiry......A final disclaimer: List making is a dangerous occupation. .. and all lists are biased; they reflect the interests of the person who drew them up..... In some cases, I have included books because of their popularity or influence, not because they are the "best"; Hitler's autobiography, Mein Kampf, is unsatisfying as autobiography and irrational as political philosophy, and Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique has enormous flaws in the way it handles historical data. But Friedan's book started a revolution, and Hitler's started a war. In both cases, these books are important because of their cultural influence; they caused readers to look at American marriages, or the problem of national identity, with new interest. Their popularity is part of the history that you are studying when you read chronologically.
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