Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is the Classics Group about to be claimed for the avant-garde?

According to the Guardian, the new thing is slow reading:
a literary revolution is at hand. First we had slow food, then slow travel. Now, those campaigns are joined by a slow-reading movement – a disparate bunch of academics and intellectuals who want us to take our time while reading, and re-reading. They ask us to switch off our computers every so often and rediscover both the joy of personal engagement with physical texts, and the ability to process them fully.
A few associated links:

Lance Fletcher, founder of The Academy of Slow Reading, points us to Nietzsche.

And here's a blog apparently devoted to slow reading.

Here's Fletcher on the process:
The intention of the teaching of slow reading (which, as I said, is what I understand philosophy to be) is to subvert the customary mode of reading. Its intention is to afford students (i.e. those who make us the gift of their listening) some critical access to their own interpretive activity.
Newsweek was not slow in picking it up, and found a professor who says:
"schools should encourage old-fashioned exercises such as reading aloud."
What a concept!

[The Classics Group has been meeting in Sarasota for some ten years, reading aloud complete works from the ancients - Homer, Virgil, Plutarch, Horace, Genesis, Samuel I and II - along with works of Dante, Shakespeare, Milton and others. With no tutors or presenters, we read and enjoy, attending to texts, pausing to observe, comment, question, or simply take them in with relish and, occasionally, vinegar.]

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