Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Noble, the Beautiful, and the Heroic



A very interesting article about how things have changed and what this author remembers are true leisure can be found here.


Mitchell Kalpakgian is an Adjunct Professor of English at St. Anselm College and Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire. I'm sorry to say with countercultural statements like these he is unlikely to make tenure. Couldn't he write something about how rap and hip hop are freeing our souls?

A sample:

This habit of daily reading has become rare in the lives of young people, who are diverted by video games, the Internet, and DVD players, and who lack the imaginative life cultivated by the reading of good and great literature. Reading forms the memory, develops the interior life, whets an appetite for the magic of words, and provides a knowledge of men and manners that video culture and information highways can never duplicate. Reading the classics exposes a person to the timeless realities of the noble, the beautiful, and the heroic. When reading ceases to be a normal activity and daily pleasure, the mind dulls. The wisdom of the past does not inform the thought of the present, and a standard of comparison that judges modern life by contrasting it with older times is missing. A simple joy, the exquisite pleasure of reading is replaced with superficial diversions.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

brought back a flood of good memories. thank god.my wife implanted these habits in our children.

Petrus said...

Now why would a comment like that have to be anonymous???

Jane Doe said...

"Now why would a comment like that have to be anonymous???"

I'm not the "Anonymous" from comment 1 but what is with you people and your phobia about "anonymous". How is "Petrus" and other nicknames any better?? Haven't you figured out that anyone can use whatever nickname or name they want on the internet and it doesn't make their comments any more or less valuable than if they just use anon? If people want to post as anon, get off their back and let them do so without hassling them.

sentimental said...

brought back a flood of good memories.
Segregation. Hatred of whatever is the minority group du jour (e.g., Irish, Italians, etc). Cold War. Drought. Vast unemployment. Good times. Good times.

All eras have good times and bad times. There has never been a true "golden age".

M. Alexander said...

Sentimental, no idea is perfect but don't you think we've lost intact families and extended families? There are more forces now that distract from the family and human relationships. Can't you ever see the good in anything?

Petrus said...

I'm not sure what other "people" except me get irked by "anonymous" comments, I just don't understand them.

The internet is impersonal enough for people to not want to back up what they say with a name, or nickname or something to distinguish themselves from other "anonymouses".

Anyone who knows me, would realize that "petrus" is actually a play on my real name. So, it is personal and more importantly, identifiable nick name.

I think that this also plays into this post in that in our fast-paced world, people are less interactive with things that present the good, the true and the beautiful to our imaginations. The first comment reveals that the man has a deep love and respect for his children, his wife, his family and the "eternal verities" as Faulkner calls them.

Thomas Shawn said...

I think the situation is a bit worse than the author describes. Not only is there just a lack of reading, people are just mental.

I was reading a recent article on how women were outpacing men at university. So they interviewed one gal and she described how she had basically given up dating. Her last boyfried had recently cut down to just 14 hours a week of "gaming." No, not gambling, just video gaming.

She lamented that she worked 14 hours a week at an internship that actually netted her about $1000 a month!

So we have a situation where people are just zombified by "games." They are totally under control, especially the boys.

I, too, am leery of the sentimentalizing the past. I guess it all matters which family you're talking about.

Wars, pestilence and famine are a constant .. there's no avoiding them.

SurgiteetCoffeamOlfacite said...

So wise and yet so young at heart. Maybe because I was untouched by the famine and petilence sorry you were in the crossfire Sentimental.

Madeline said...

Sentimental, I'm guessing you're not a glass half empty or glass half full kind of girl but more of a "How can I get a paper cup," kind of girl.

John said...

Hi,Im from Melbourne Australia.
I quite like these 2 related essays on the disintegration of culture and the cure of such.

1. www.dabase.net/restsacr.htm
2. www.dabase.net/coopcomm.htm

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