The Decline of Literate Thought: “My own students enjoyed heat in the winter and plentiful electric lighting at all times, owned their own books (often sold back to the bookstore at term end, as they saw no point in keeping them), had unlimited access to libraries, and benefitted where necessary from plentiful loans and scholarships to assist them in pursuing their studies. Yet their enthusiasm for learning could not even remotely compare with what I was observing in an unfurnished, late-night public square. What I intuited then and fully apprehend now is that without a more or less equivalent degree of responsibility and determination on our part, an awareness of the value of literary studies and an ethical commitment to mastering our intellectual history and incorporating the wisdom and intelligence of the larger culture that ultimately sustains us, the world in which we live and which we take for granted will surely founder.”
March 26, 2012
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