A few of you noticed my recent hiatus, which happened to coincide with a visit to Mexico, from which I returned dog sick (not pig sick, I assure you). I mention this only to explain my slow return, and to let you know that I’ll have a few words about my reading experiences in my version of Paradise over the next several posts.
In the meantime, I want to recommend this essay by Mark Edmundson, published in the latest issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. The author contemplates the question of “readings,” the all-too-familiar pratice of passing literary works through the sieve of this or that theory in order to … well, let’s be honest, to plump up one’s curriculum vitae. The core of Edmundson’s argument is this: “[I]f we kicked our addiction to readings, our profession would actually be stronger and more influential, our teaching would improve, and there would be more good books of literary criticism to be written and accordingly more to be read.” Thanks to Ron Slate for the link!