Sunday, March 2, 2014

Classics Club: March Meme

Every month, the Classics Club likes to ask us a question for discussion.  This time, the question is:
What is your favorite “classic” literary period and why?
Wow, that is a really tricky question for me to answer.   I like all sorts of things.  I was thinking about this earlier this morning, and remembered that in college, I always had a hard time concentrating on one thing to the exclusion of other things.  I was a literature major, but whatever courses I took, by the end of the semester I was completely sick of whatever it was we were studying.  From Shakespeare to European literature in the 1930s, it was all interesting for about 14 weeks and then I got tired.  All my friends and professors wanted to specialize in something: Gothic literature, Milton, Russian literature of the 19th century, whatever, but I could never settle on a specialty.  I would happily study nearly any subject or time period, though, as long as I didn't have to do it exclusively.

Everything is better in the stacks.

 I am a butterfly: I flit and sip.*  I am really good at knowing something about a whole lot of things, but I'm not much good at knowing everything about any one thing.  Which pretty much explains why I am a librarian.  Well, that and the part where I like going on treasure hunts to find things out.

This turns out to be how I approach classical homeschooling, too.  Lots of classical educators raise the cry of multum non multa--that is, much, not many.  One should read a few things deeply rather than a lot of things not so deeply.  The things one should read deeply are usually Plato and Thomas Aquinas and so on, preferably in the original.  I have never managed to find this appealing.  I like Susan Wise Bauer's broad approach much better.  Because I am a flitting sipper.




*Stolen from P. G. Wodehouse's Joy in the Morning.

5 comments:

Ruth said...

And I think your interest in reading a variety of literary periods and genres and topics makes your blog so interesting. It also makes for a well-rounded person!

consoledreader said...

There is so much great literature out there from a variety of periods that it is hard to pick a single best or favorite!

The Modernist Poets, the Romantic Poets, many of the 19th century novelists, the Greek tragedies and Epics, Shakespeare, The Bible, Beowulf . . .

Lois said...

I like your answer! I'm a homeschooling graduate and I definitely got the classical education and I was able to read from several different classical literary periods and enjoy most all of them. :)

mirrorwithclouds said...

I'm a homeschooling dad of four. The library is one of our favorite places and librarians are some of our favorite people!
-Dale

Eva said...

I agree with you & love the flit and sip imagery! Although I think I'd make it a bee metaphor instead so that I get to make honey. ;) Part of why I decided not to get a PhD (when I was a senior & thinking about what to do after grad) was because the idea of that much time & energy on such a specific topic just horrified me a bit.