are great books worth it?


i was researching a paper on Petrarch for my Italian Renaissance class last week-end and came across a particularly disturbing critique of a great books curriculum by the scholar Whitfield. though i had orginally copied his comment out on a nice, purple index card, lord knows where i put it, so i will paraphrase quickly.
after discussing how Aquinas isn’t really a scholastic, but because he is the only one we really read we erroneously consider him to be representative of the whole movement, Whitfield points out that perhaps the groundbreaking and best works of a given era do not, in fact, represent their realities best, but rather, the more mediocre ones, lost to history for the most part, do. this is an interesting critique of studying history through both great works, as we do at the LAC, or great men. It got me thinking about the purpose of the type of education i have opted for. however, i am not only working on the great books curriculum, right? but also engaging in literature, social history and languages. i would like to imagine that this helps overcome some of the skewed-ness of the great books curriculum, which i think has value if only on a historiographical level. ok. that was a very scholastic post.
i will lighten the content of this post with a brief mention of what i did last night. Steve and I went to see 16 Blocks with Bruce Willis. i thought it was a very nicely done action movie. i saw it in French, dubbed in Quebec (thank GOD), but i must say i found myself covering my mouth and the rest of my face with my hands a lot, which is always a sign of my succumbing to the suspense. i suggest renting it when it comes out to say the least. mindless in the way all stories about a corrupt police for are, but entertaining in a good way. the previews were also interesting. there appear to be a lot of really bad movies about to come out. V is for Vendetta being the prime candidate. it seemed like such propaganda. ugh. hopefully i will be wrong, because i bet i will forced to go and see it by either a family member or a boyfriend with not so-scrupulous taste in movies. not that i’m even close to an expert…

One thought on “are great books worth it?

  1. I was of the same opinion as you but apparently V for Vendetta has actually been getting good reviews so it might be worth seeing after all. I figure I’ll probably see it next weekend so I’ll try to remember to let you know if it was any good!

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