Yes, Exactly

January 11, 2009 @ 9:40 pm | Filed under: Books

Film critic David Denby, writing of his experience revisiting, in his forties, the Great Books core courses he had taken as a freshman at Columbia University thirty years earlier:

I was reading seriously, reading Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, all the Greeks. But I needed more time. Life got in the wayβ€”a good life, but in the way. I had always known it would, but I was determined not to rope off my school adventure, not to become a hermit, anything medieval or cloistered, but to remain a modern middle-class man, living my life as normally as possible. As if I had any choice! There were days when I wanted to be free just to study, to eat at any hour and sleep whenever I wanted to, unshaven and raw as an eighteen-year-oldβ€”and then the little one, Thomas, would take my hand and lead me into his room to show me something he had drawn, pulling me away from Plato, and I was exasperated but grateful, because a child’s hand is like nothing else on earth.

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20 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. Wow, absolutely fabulous final quote.

  2. If it were not for my children and my education through homeschooling them, I would never have been introduced to the Great Books.

  3. you know what would make an interesting blog/podcast/book would be going through the old eliot five foot shelf with that approach

  4. never mind

  5. LOL Hey Lissa , over on your twitter you wrote about a snuggly boy and then clarified yourself to mean a 5 year old boy. I didn’t think you might have meant baby, I thought you meant Scott!

  6. But of course most of the 18 year olds taking that Great Books course do not at all appreciate the luxury of studying Plato (or whatever) all day in their pyjamas. I bet he didn’t either. Which might be why he wants to revisit that course πŸ™‚

    I’m like the Happy Housewife (though possibly only in this respect, since no one would ever call me that) in that homeschooling is what is bringing me to the classics. We are currently reading Dickens which I have never done before homeschooling.

  7. Saw the tweet — sending prayers, deep breaths, and full dilation thoughts your way!


  8. HOORAY!!!! Everyone go check out Lissa’s Twitter!!!!


    oh, and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  9. Saw the Twitter — what a big boy!!! Congratulations to all of you!! Can’t wait for pictures (hint, hint). :o)

  10. Congratulations! I am so happy for you! What a blessing! (okay, will stop using exclamation marks now)

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  11. Yahooooooo!!!! Congrats everyone! Can’t wait for pic’s….enjoy the babymoon…

  12. Oh congrats congrats congrats! 9lb12 – wow!!! Yay, what wonderful wonderful news πŸ™‚

    And you were totally right – tuesday – spooky!

  13. Best news all day! Brings tears to my eyes – what a blessing! Congratulations!

  14. Congrats to you and family, Lissa!

  15. Just saw the photo on twitter … oh, those cheeks! Have you already kissed them a thousand times?? πŸ™‚

  16. Congratulations….you gave birth to a healthy two month old!!!! Enjoy this marvelous time!

  17. Congratulations on the new little boy! Enjoy the bliss of the next few days.

  18. Congratulations! What wonderful news. Blessings to all of you, and welcome to that precious new little one.

  19. Congratulations! What a bouncing baby!

  20. Thinking of you and yours, Lissa. Enjoy a “babymoon!”