Why this blog post on Why Literature?

By | June 14, 2011

“What is a literature course attempting to accomplish? And, even more perplexing to me, why does it matter in life?” (Bruns xiii) These are among the questions Cristina Bruns asks in her book Why Literature? The Value of Literary Reading and What it Means for Teaching. She insightfully explores the answers to these questions and ultimately upholds the value of literature and literary theories. In her argument for the value of literature, she also draws on her experience as a teacher to suggest new ways that literature should be taught. She recommends closing the gap between academic and personal reading; teachers of literature should encourage their students to read passionately, rather than analytically, and to form their own opinions on the literature they immerse themselves in. As J. Hillis Miller said, Why Literature? is “One of the most informed and challenging books on why we should read and teach literature.” – Miriam

 

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