28 July 2010

Why a democracy NEEDS literature, and why colleges need general education

"Paradise Lost seeks to create 'fit readers,' not just to preach to them.  The hope is that those who pick it up will, through reading it, be able, for example, to see how tyrants gain their power and, perhaps, next time, stand firm against tyranny.  Paradise Lost therefore both demands and creates readers who will be alert to all its complexities, able to appreciate its ironies, able to share its anger and its compassion." 

-- Anna Beer, Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer, and Patriot (347-348)

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