Thanks and thoughts
Posted by Linden on June 13, 1998 at 00:34:25:
In response to A plea..., written by Helen on June 12, 1998 at 15:37:14
] Speaking as a fellow university teacher, I would say that you will have to deal with students who already think that anything called 'romantic' or a 'romance' is about love.
Yep. I'm doing so.
] The difficulty is that like all movements, the C19th romantic one consisted of
] 1. People who were basically friends who shared a few ideas about poetry, philosophy, life, and were intensely involved for a time, even though their paths later diverged (Wordsworth, Coleridge, Hazlitt)
] 2. People who got lumped in with them:
] a) their predecessors, who had some characteristics in common (Scott)
] b) other people who just happened to be around at the time (Byron)
] c) people who were influenced by them - the next generation (Shelley, Keats)
] d) people who picked up something of the zeitgeist but were in no way part of that particular movement (This is where I would put JA in).
I like, I like. There is a tendency with hindsight to lump people together as "A movement" which the people themselves might or might not have thought about. Many of the Romantics - including the "Sturm und Drang" philosophers of Europe - did see themselves as part of a movement.
] Actually, if you don't think trendy comparisons with popular culture are too much to be despised,
Not at all. One of the plusses of postmodernism is that it is willing to look at things outside The Canon.
] It seems to me that the danger of putting JA in there with the romantics is that she's such an untypical one that she will get swamped by the more obvious candidates.
I can see that, but on the other hand, she's the one that most of the students will know about. Too many of our students have very little cultural literacy, and it's not getting any better in Australia with cuts to university funding. The university for which I work closed the whole of its English Literature school and sacked all the lecturers last year, and there isn't another university which does Eng Lit for 3000 kilometres. (This is really true.)
] Helen, thankful that it's not her period of literature and she will hopefully never have to explain how we got from Kant to Byron;
I recommend "Sophie's World" by J. Gaarder, which does exactly this. I should have mentioned earlier that the unit for which I am writing this is an Intro. Philosophy unit and we're using "Sophie's World" as a set text.
I'm sneaking in as much Literature as I can when nobody's looking :-(
Weep for me and our students.
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.