Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Good Books Don't Have to Be Hard

While education folks in the blogging world continue to discuss the NYT article on reading workshop (see responses here, here and here), I find myself looking for balance and asking "Why not read old and new classics?"

Perhaps this question and my desire for balance explain why I enjoyed Lev Grossman's article so. In Good Novels Don't Have to Be Hard he writes:
There was a time when difficult literature was exciting. T.S. Eliot once famously read to a whole football stadium full of fans. And it's still exciting—when Eliot does it. But in contemporary writers it has just become a drag. Which is probably why millions of adults are cheating on the literary novel with the young-adult novel, where the unblushing embrace of storytelling is allowed, even encouraged.
Read the entire article for some interesting thoughts on the Modernists and the return of the novel.

1 comment:

  1. I like Kelly Gallagher's approach in his book Readicide (a great companion to Atwell's Reading Zone). He takes a 50/50 approach. Half classic book study, half self-selected. He makes compelling points about how he doesn't expect them all to "like" 1984 for example, but that they'll gain much from reading it and never look at their government the same way again and yet they still get to get into the zone with their own favorites.