“When I started teaching, at University College, Dublin many years ago, I urged students to believe that the merit of reading a great poem, play, or novel consisted in the pleasure of gaining access to deeply imagined lives other than their own. Over the years, that appeal, still cogent to me, seems to have lost much of its persuasive force. Students seem to be convinced that their own lives are the primary and sufficient incentive. They report that reading literature is mainly a burden. Those students who think of themselves as writers and take classes in “creative writing” to define themselves as poets or fiction writers evidently write more than they read, and regard reading as a gross expenditure of time and energy. They are not open to the notion that one learns to write by reading good writers.” — Dennis Donoghue, Defeating the poem

I wholeheartedly agree (not with the students). Especially having seen what passes for A grade assignments from university-bound high school students these days…

Also, some timely commentary by Sherry.

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