Each cluster of sources includes key questions, objectives, and a background essay. Many Pasts The Center for History and New Media produces historical works in new media, tests their effectiveness in the classroom, and reflects critically on the success of new media in historical practice.
Go to the Many Pasts section for primary documents in text, image, and audio about ordinary Americans throughout U. Documenting the American South Documenting the American South DAS is an impressive collection of sources by the University of North Carolina on Southern history, literature and culture from the colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century.
DAS supplies teachers, students, and researchers with a wide range of titles they can use for reference, studying, teaching, and research. Currently, DAS includes ten thematic collections of primary sources for the study of southern history, literature, and culture including Oral Histories of the American South, True and Candid Compositions: Fortunately it has a search feature; there is an amazing amount of material here. In the First Person First Person is a free, in-depth index of close to 4, collections of personal narratives in English from around the world.
It lets you keyword search more than , pages of full-text by more than 18, individuals. It also contains pointers to some 4, audio and video files and 30, bibliographic records. Resources for Teaching American History Several groups of teachers conducted research at the Smithsonian and contributed primary source activities for this website. These are engaging, quality teaching resources worth exploring. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Start with the Metropolitan Museum of Art Timeline of Art History, a chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from around the world.
The timelines, accompanied by world, regional, and sub-regional maps, provide a linear outline of art history, and allow visitors to compare and contrast art from around the globe at any time in history. There is plenty more here apart from the Timeline: The Third Millennium B.
Turning the Pages Turning the Pages is an award-winning interactive display system developed by The British Library to increase public access and enjoyment of some of its most valuable treasures. There are currently fifteen treasures on display in Turning the Pages including: Stories link to organized primary and secondary source materials found principally at U.
The purpose of the site including its separate, stand-alone channels is to take visitors on a virtual guided tour of relevant on-line source materials. Be sure to check out Click2History. This impressive site features reviewed links to top sites, professionally developed lesson plans based on primary sources, classroom activities, materials to help with daily classroom planning, and search engines.
You can search lesson plans by subcategory and grade level; middle school lessons are the most numerous. The resources cover a wide range of historical periods and are arranged in chronological periods. The lessons are mostly source based case studies centered on key questions. PBS Online A great source for information on a myriad of historical events and personalities. Many lessons incorporate primary sources.
Some lessons require viewing PBS video, but many do not. Social Explorer Reports and interactive maps on census data from to Interactive maps allow you to choose a time period and demographic feature to look at. You can zoom in on any area or request a corresponding report on the specific information you request.
Free maps are mainly of population, race, and religion, but a premium subscription allows access to many more maps. United States Historical Census Data Browser Provides data from census records and other government sources for Users can view extensive population- and economic-oriented statistical information at state and county levels, arranged according to a variety of categories. Also includes an essay on the history of the census. Primary Access Primary Access allows students to use primary source documents, pictures, videos, and recordings to create multimedia presentations about a specific topic in history.
It uses a general layout that consists of video recordings, outlines of ideas, timelines of history that include dated pictures and archives and much more. While the information may seem limited at times, it provides a good layout for students to begin formulating a general idea of what they want to focus on. The Price of Freedom: Americans at War This Smithsonian website skillfully integrates Flash video and text to examine armed conflicts involving the U.
Each conflict contains a brief video clip, statistical information, and a set of artifacts. The New American Roles present section contains an introductory movie and short essay on the conflict as well as historic images and artifacts.
The Doing History feature lets users reconstruct the past through the voices of children, gravestones, advertising, and other primary sources. Reference resources include classroom handouts, chronologies, encyclopedia articles, glossaries, and an audio-visual archive including speeches, book talks and e-lectures by historians, and historical maps, music, newspaper articles, and images.
There are links to other sites: You can also find out about journals and discussion lists connected with British empire or Commonwealth studies. Center for Reformation and Renaissance Studies Hosted by the University of Toronto, the CRRC is a research centre with a library devoted to the study of the period from approximately to Its web site contains links to sites useful for researchers working in the Renaissance and the Reformation, as well as other periods. It offers FICINO, an international electronic seminar and bulletin board for the circulation and exchange of information about the Renaissance and Reformation.
There are also exhibitions from its Rare Book collections, such as Music in Medieval and Early Modern Europe and Textual Conversations — interactions between Renaissance authors, printers, readers, and texts. Perseus Project Perseus Project is an impressive digital library for Greek and Classical resources from the Classics Department at Tufts University for primary and secondary source scholarly works that cover the history, literature and culture of the Greco-Roman world.
The collection contains extensive and diverse resources including primary and secondary texts, site plans, digital images, and maps. Works are listed by author and you can browse the Greco-Roman Collection or use the search engine. Art and archaeology catalogs document a wide range of objects: The site also has FAQs, essays, a historical overview, and an extensive library of art objects, and other resources.
Special exhibits include The Ancient Olympics and Hercules. Site is updated regularly. You may search all of the texts in this collection or browse by Title, Author, Genre and Language. Medieval Resources This Georgetown University site features free, organized access to electronic resources in medieval studies. Among its offerings are bibliographies, a searchable index, links to special topics, and full-text versions of medieval works.
Early Modern Resources In a Ph. D student began Early Modern Resources, a gateway site for the early modern period c. It contains a wide range of links, organized into Research, Sources, Regions, and Themes. Also includes links to General Resources, E-tests, E-journals, and more.
These are fee-based subscription services. Check to see if your institution has procured access. Its Primary Sources Collections are both multi-disciplinary and discipline-specific and include primary source content such as monographs, pamphlets, manuscripts, letters, oral histories, government documents, images, and more. The interface is simple and the archive is enormous.
While Google News is an excellent resource for recently published news, LexisNexis is currently the champion for searches of articles from the last 20 years. It is a vast collection, so they have subdivided it into a collection of smaller databases. When Powersearch returns your results, it will break them up by resource type.
Magazines, Academic Journals, Reference sources, News and Multimedia all have their own separate tabs. Like LexisNexis, Powersearch provides the full title and word count of each article, which are helpful to look at when selecting sources. The best general collection for younger researchers roughly 6th-9th grade is the Student Edition. Clicking the Linked Full Text option is key to getting articles that you can actually read right away.
What distinguishes ABC-Clio is that search results will be grouped by source type: For many research assignments, teachers ask students to write their papers or create their presentations using a wide variety of different source types.
This search engine makes that task easier for students and it helps them see more clearly whether a source is an essay, a primary source, or something else. The most novel resource however is the History Study Center. I have been wanting to ask some native speaker about such rhymes for a long time. When they appear in Shakespeare or Chaucer, it is obviously because they did rhyme at that time. Are those purely visual rhymes, or archaisms?
Juan Pablo, delighted to hear it. That gives you another solid semester. Shane, and that sort of historical senility is something that needs to be countered, in a big way.
Who erases the past controls the future; who engages with the past frees the future. Do any books have such status among Trumpian conservatives today? Or are the shared beliefs of Trump supporters being inculcated through some other media or social experience? Matthias Gralle — You should definitely read poetry with normal pronunciation and not grossly distort a word to make it rhyme. Some of the best poets in English have foregone strict rhyming schemes so that they can use language that best fits what they were trying to say.
Re the comment by workdove. My experience in teaching writing workshops over more than a decade in, shall we say, one of the best well-educated demographics in suburban Maryland, sadly enough, was that when it came time to discuss plot, so few of my students had read the same books, we always ended up discussing movies, e.
Suffice to say, I rarely set foot in a movie theater anymore. On the other hand, I do read every day and I love talking about books with friends of various ages who also love to talk about books.
Turn off the screens, all of them, and sit down and read a real book with your children. There are many options but if you want to get started, as John Michael Greer mentioned, a Newberry Medal winner could be an excellent bet.
Books may not dominate our culture at the moment, but they are not going away, and I believe that those who can, with discernment, appreciate books will always have an inestimably richer life than those who do not. The media, TV, computer, internet, etc. This kinda goes along with the same reason why we should read things that we disagree with, so we see where each side is coming from.
Your first video on pay and equality: Again a clear case, in his view, of the solution outweighing the problem in negativity. Second video…I can only suggest that you watch it yourself right to the end with less scathing eyes. As noted by myself and Dot he is deconstructing the flaws in the extreme SJW view of hierarchy, in a very grounded common-sense sounding way, he is not saying hierarchy is all good. I never force a rhyme; I pronounce it with its normal modern pronunciation.
Generally speaking, forcing the rhyme with irregular pronunciation would be considered an error, unless perhaps one is doing an historical reenactment or some such thing. It is not that my writing workshop students did not read, on the contrary, they were voracious readers.
But they did not all read the same books, for the most part, and this made it challenging to talk about narrative structure. Alas, there was not time in the workshop to fit in reading a novel —or, ideally, several. And I believe this underscores your point, that we lack a canon. Also, to add to what I said about reading to children: Why not Zapotec, Norwegian, Irish, or Moroccan?
The little ones may find some folk tales, especially the original Brothers Grimm, disturbing, so best to read those first, without the kiddies. I like other works by Kerouac but not OTR. Catcher In The Rye. Salinger was considered very hip in the 50s and 60s, the time of my youth. These days we each consider the book to be unreadable. All my Chandlers are 50s era paperbacks, not original first editions but still a pleasure to hold and read. I read them all every few years.
My personal opinion, I also nominate Hemmingway along with Salinger for literary oblivion. Faust appears to be pretty close to mandatory in German education. Also see this interview in a left leaning newspaper TAZ https: Bei Bildungsstandards geht es eher um Kompetenzen als um Faktenwissen.
Warum sollte das ernsthaft mit einem Niveauverlust einhergehen? Standards sind mir schlicht zu vage. Es ist problematisch, wenn die Schule nur noch abstrakte Kompetenzen vermitteln soll.
Man sollte den Mut haben, einen Pflichtkanon festzulegen. Overall though I expect this to result in rather more Faust than less as it is one of the more accessible and entertaining works for the age group. Let me see if I can recall my set: Family that had picked a humanities focus would have significantly more on their shelf.
Family on the vocational track had far fewer and shorter works or excerpts — and I think this is really a critical point with the canon approach. I am not sure if the meat-and-potatoes can outweigh the popcorn here. In general I am not convinced that similar dynamics are dominant when it comes to perhaps not just German female or male canon formation see also https: I think the dynamics re professors are plausible if perhaps not new particularly for English, but for smaller languages or heritage groups dynamics could be rather different.
Perhaps this special status is another aggravating factor. Also if you wanted a reliably shared semantic corpus this used to be decidedly low brow works such as Karl May which of course did not tie back very well to the older canon , and in recent decades more shifting towards audio stories and I have to say it: I bring this up because I think these ephemeral works could plausible affect the sensibilities that determine which parts of the canon get modernized in what way.
Lastly I hardly read modern fiction nor enjoy modern painting. Especially the latter point has made me seek out older works and quite naturally the related literature now that it is so wonderfully accessible. One of my gateway books was Working-Class War: Has anybody seen the entrance exam of the East India Company?
His writing is as sophisticated as it is effortless. Sailor Steve is definitely required to thump the daylights out of both Alexander Portnoy, and his much earlier and rather confused contemporary in spirit , Werther. Conan would ignore them. Both of those two characters Alexander and Werther would bore the daylights out of me.
It is worth noting that the fictional character young Werther did in fact silence himself in a rather permanent way…That seems like a rather extreme thought process and may have been there to shock people. Alexander on the other hand appears to have just enjoyed shocking people… Honestly, that more recent story sounds as if it has fifty shades of Woody Allen.
Yes, Eli was rather unsubtle in her approach to history. Oh well, as I remarked that story was at least entertaining. Good to hear from you, and just to let you know that I am enjoying your book reviews in the quarterly magazine: Thanks for taking the time to put pen to paper.
Yeah, I tell ya what. As I read that Salinger book, I could almost feel the lost minutes of my life ticking away! He seemed to be doing OK to me, so where did the dissatisfaction arise from? That was the question that was never explored in the book.
Proponents should be prepared to defend their opinions against all comers. Neither Sailor Steve or Conan would shy away from a confrontation about their ideology. I agree too that it is not necessarily a requirement to enjoy a book in order for it to be included in a canon.
And, again true to Plato, many churchmen disliked or were suspicious of the Miracle Plays and the actors therein. Much reading might well lead to a richer life: So, a person who is very observant and reflective could conceivably have just as rich a mental life.
Someone who knew Virginia Woolf in childhood said that if she asked them what they had done that morning, and they said: I simply stated that on my Gymnasium in Niedersachsen in Faust was not read in Grundkurs nor Leistungskurs. Call that unconfirmed if you like. The oral tradition accomplishes this by repeating a story multiple times, through multiple tellers. Another similarity between the literary and oral canons is the way they give every sub-culture a bridge to relate to the mainstream.
Each tribe, cast, village, region, sect, and etc… use their oral tradition to relate to the main canon. My favorite example of that comes from an article I read a few years ago about a small village, south of New Delhi, where the residents were Muslim but traced their lineage to both Ram and Muhammad through their story telling.
However, due to the intrusive efforts by Saudi trained clerics the link to Ram was gradually destroyed by stories from the Hadith and Koran, much to the anger and fear of the Hindu population of the village.
The contestantation and unfairness are also both prevalent, since the lower casts and north eastern tribes are constantly attempting to introduce their stories to the main canon.
I would argue that both are valuable. Your project is much broader and deeper than mine and youyet I think both are vitally important at this time in history. JM, not sure what happened, but I think I somehow accidentally hit a key that submitted the comment before I was done typing. Gellner says somewhere that Plato was trying to return to the structure of pre-democratic Greece e.
Thanks for the suggestions! I have another favor to ask for anyone who has an idea. However, I personally find it quite cheesy.
Also she was telling me that our challenge will be to make a compelling offer to the profile of students that go there. Augustine in a philosophy book club? I would not describe his work as popcorn, but I would not favor it for a literary canon to build common ground on. My favorite is also The Little Sister, with Marlowe at his most colorful.
In reading aloud, which you should probably do for poetry,, observe enjambment. If there is no punctuation at the end of a line, read on without pause. If you ignore or exaggerate the punctuation you end up with the boom, diddy boom of an inexperienced reader.
There are worthwhile short poems to start with memorizing. Some think the world will end in fire, and some in ice. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction, ice is also great and would suffice.
I think an illiterate population can have a canon if they are still an oral culture. Epics were recited to illiterate audiences for decades before being written down. But all of the audience knew the works and could have discussed them. I am sure that American students in the best prep schools are still learning Shakespeare, Dickens, Twain, Hemingway, the Federalist Papers, etc. It is the working classes who are being allowed forced? If I recall my classes on the history of education there were two trends in the U.
One wanted everyone brought up to the standards that had been only for the elite—so that shop workers and children of millhands would appreciate Shakespeare and Tennyson. The other school of thought advocated education for life—which amounted to physical education, household arts, practical subjects for the working classes in the public schools. Oddly, that was considered progressive. When Wodehouse came up, I felt the need for several cheerfully farcical chapters of Bertie and Jeeves.
I am now inoculated against a couple more grimly farcical 21st-century weeks. He reads the entire poem on the accompanying CD, which gave us a wonderful feel for the spoken cadence. Heaney is a well-regarded poet in his own right. Time for a revisit! Having these and other stories under their belts, so to speak, has been fun for my kids, as they are able to recognize their outlines in other works, even in popular culture.
To me, this is a great argument for a canon in itself. I suppose Ozymandias was not a good example for the question I had since the rhymes may be deliberately imperfect. The example that first made me wonder about acoustic or visual rhyme is this:. The seas were left behind; in a harbour of Logres lightly I came to land under a roaring wind. In all other strophes of the poem lines 1 and 4 rhyme. Charles Williams is a very acoustic poet, though he does have some archaizing tendencies.
If I may, I think that Natural Magic may offer some guidance in this department. Garden Sage Salvia officinalis has been used for a long while as an herb of Jupiter. Matthew Wood in Earthwise Herbal and The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism also notes that sage seems to decrease desire as well as presenting several case studies of the sage dissolve long term term blood clots. I imagine that what Sage can do for the physical body it can do for the subtle ones, and help dissolve memory and emotional clots as well.
Interestingly, it is written in the Yoga of Herbs which looks at western materia medica through the lens of Ayurvedic theory and practice that: It helps reduce excessive desires and passions.
It is specific for calming the heart. Of course this takes time, and Matthew Wood notes that taking too much sage for a long period has been known to cause convulsions! Interestingly, reductive science has presented evidence that indeed sage does indeed appear to improve memory and emotional states: It does your brain a lot of good. Millicently, and that, again, is why a canon is a good thing.
Back in the very early s, one of the highbrow paperback presses released a translation of two of his books as Ardistan and Djinnistan in an attempt to cash in the Hermann Hesse phenomenon; I read it and found it hamfisted but fun.
Chris, Portnoy could certainly have used a good punch in the jaw. Werther, on the other hand, probably would have popped like a soap bubble.
The Middle Ages have been attractive to thinkers of that calibre for a long time for much the same reason. I simply want to keep this discussion focused on the theme I have in mind, which is the recovery of the thoughts of the past through silent reading. More of this as we proceed…. Dear drhooves, I do like meeting persons of impeccable taste that is to say, taste which agrees with mine!
Then, in addition, if English is also an official language, do people feel obliged to read the likes of Milton and Shakespeare? I have no argument that fiction tends to portray women as caricatures, and not anything resembling the reality. The point of my comment earlier was to add into the discussion happening over whether TV or movies were worse for gender norms.
Hi John, Great post. In addition to helping readers how to think, a great canon helps them to ask questions that they had not considered asking. In some cases, questions that were speculative at the time a canonical book was written become all to real in another age, which is one reason a book may enter or leave a canon: And what about certain competencies, like persuading people to buy things that are harmful to their health and pocketbooks?
Ina society that depended more on simpler, Schumacherian technologies, socially positive competencies like skill in the mechanical arts would be more widespread, and the importance of character would become more clearly evident. Yes, of course, John Michael. As you know, an at times overly zealous evangelistic spirit is an all-too-common character trait defect?
JMG, this is off topic for this week, but you and others here might find it interesting: This has some detailed stats on US deaths over the past decade, broken down by age, year, and occasionally by cause, and compared to projections. Between and now, Age , and show more deaths, , , and infinity show fewer deaths. Age-adjusted has fewer deaths overall than , but not age-adjusted has more. Fast forward to the last couple of years and my partner has been exploring repressed memories and emotional states e.
The idea of using sage as part of this was not something I had considered but I definitely am now! Then repeat but after having sage tea. It does intrigue me that an old advert can pop-up in memory when something I actually want to recall can often prove elusive! If I immediately start salivating and desire to rush out to buy some sugary abomination… clearly there will be some work to do. Otherwise that would be a good suggestion.
My husband is a sucker for a nicely bound hardcover edition. One of his favorites is a two-volume set of the Iliad and the Odyssey from Chester River Press that I gave him for Christmas some years back.
It weighs about 20 pounds and has gorgeous illustrations. The paper and binding for most new editions one finds in stores these days are of such poor quality that they barely hold up to one reading.
Publishers like Chester River and Taschen take things more seriously. Their books have a correspondingly high price tag, but they are great for important works that are worth re-reading. Nastarana That might be worth a shot. Hail to our heroes. I am disappointed that nearly all the books suggested are fiction.
The world and society we live in has been shaped more by scientists and engineers than by novelists. Snow was a British scientist and eventually a senior and influential government administrator.
Remarkably, in his spare time he also wrote a best-selling novel about once a year. He complained about an educational system that promoted the humanities and did not produce leaders capable of understanding the technology that was changing the globe.
In part of the essay: A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists.
Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold. It was also negative. So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had.
Now that so many countries want to try. The intellectuals of the day vigorously attacked Snow with essays in literary journals. There are several barriers to redeveloping a cultural canon in the US. On the individual level, people are incredibly aggressive about defending their cultural territory, and even suggesting that someone step out of their canon is an invitation to conflict. The buy-in cost for television, and the fragmented structure of the Internet, make both of those mediums useless for rebuilding a canon.
Literature is one solution, but even there reading is largely unpopular with the public, and stigmatized as elitist by the behavior of the educated class. For a culture to develop a canon it must be consumed by a large enough portion of the population to provide a common base for communication, correct? I think before we start suggesting books and stories that would be good to introduce to a cannon, we need to ask ourselves how canons develop and what kind of information canons normally hold?
Because the foundation of a cultures canons are the stories and ideas that grew organically during the times of crisis, right? Then the foundation is supplemented variously by other useful pieces of information? The single link between all these language groups, sects, regions, religions, and etc…are the vedas. Those documents are the core educational instrument, and to be considered respectable you must be able to memorize the vedas in Sanskrit. There is culture of wandering mendicants and asthetics that then spread the teachings of the Vedas.
Spiritual wanderers go from one part of the country to another dropping stories like seeds, and often taking up residence in remote villages to administer to the spiritual needs of the village.
They do this mostly outside the control of any central authority, except for those who belong to some temple sect. The aesthetics play a some what comparable role to druids of celtic culture.
Finally there are the wandering entertainers, who go from place to place playing music, doing magic, and telling stories. Hi Thanks for the post … it seems to me the left have taken ownership of the term SocIal Justice and define it as some kind of Equality. What do you think the right see social justice is as a form of … what? A canon of written works, read silently and wrestled with alone, seems counterproductive if the aim is to provide a basis for mutual comprehension.
Everybody brings their own personal quirks to the book. That is, I believe, the main point of pre-mordant post-modernism — that the text is interpretable, not fixed in meanings created by the author, but packed with new, fresher meaning by the reader, like stuffing a dead turkey with cornbread.
Or are you including a component of discussion and comparison of opinions and disputed readings in the idea of having such a canon? Likewise, some cultures have a canon of folk dances, folk music, meaningful symbols as used in jewelry, figurines, on pottery, barndoors painted with hexes, and even traditional hairstyles.
Why not rely on this sort of commonality to foster a willingness to preserve the Union? But you better believe that I knew the words and tune to Dixie! Why do we as a nation not share our songs? Same reason we do not read the same books. Perhaps that is why flag-pledging in schools and flagpins in offices are thought to be important: Dissensus from such cult-cultural norms is generally not encouraged, and is subtly resisted by many.
Why should an enforced literary canon not have the same divisive effect? If chosen voluntarily, that is one thing; if required by Society-with-a-capital-Capitol-S, quite another. The Chinese Canon used as a sort of Qualifying Exam for judging who was fit to join the Civil Service and the similar one used by Oxbridge Brits to staff their CivServ functioned pretty well for awhile but ca. Or anytime there was war on the borders.
When Empire was expanding or desperately defending, Canonical thinkers were only able to dislodge a few traitor-types at the top of the heap and introduce a few toothless reforms. Given all that, how long might such a New American canon be expected to hold up under splintering pressures of the non-reading variety before it gets old enough to grow brittle and shatter?
All but one of the novels was done by them. There are also reprints of them by the Heritage Press — not quite as nice, but cheaper. I realise suddenly that my early, lengthy, exposure to the Bible, including much memorisation of verses, has been forming the shape of my mind and thoughts for my entire life, even though, in my late teens and early twenties I took a long walk away from my childhood faith, and have not read much in its holy book since.
However, with distance, and a slowly growing sense of peace and self-acceptance which is no longer in need of targuing with that early faith, I find that an apt biblical passage is likely to pop randomly into my head at any time. Tom Larue,if you are compiling canon of seminal non-fiction for a future post-petroleum civilization, I would add A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin.
It is considered to be the definitive history of the Apollo program and contains direct eyewitness descriptions of the planet as seen from space. At least not if we go back just a few decades. We used to share music to a considerable extent in the form of records and radio.
There was room for odd ball tastes but for the most part it was a sharing of what was broadly popular. The technology of the past made mass sharing almost a necessity. But that entailed some accomodation too. Books, otoh, have always or at least for centuries been a technology geared to the individual. I am a working scientist. The important discoveries are published as original articles in journals, and the important reflections are published in review articles in journals. Actually, the best way to do that might be to repeat a famous experiment or even better, design a new one….
That is why my canon consists of humanities, most of them actually not in the form of a novel, and what they have to teach is much less subject to change. More or less off-topic for today, but not quite… A real possibilidade de declinio da ciencia. So many of our idioms are drawn from them: Our volume had color illustrations from the s, I believe, wonderfully detailed.
Competence for a hunter gatherer tribe looks very different than it does for really any inhabitant of a modern industrial society. But more importantly what do you mean by character? The character traits that are valued or not also vary depending on culture.
Dark Age warband societies are likely to highly value traits like capacity for violence, fearlessness and interpersonal loyalty. Just as we see with our warbands — jihadists and the likes of MS13 — today. Those living in areas terrorized by such gangs today would probably say that street smarts, subservience, social networks, diplomacy and the ability to keep your head down are the character traits that enable survival for those living in their path.
Even an appropriate tech Dark Age is not necessarily going to be an improvement on a world in which marketers of fizzy sugar water are well paid. OT, but I thought you might be interested to see that your depiction of industrialized schools in Retrotopia may not be too terribly long in coming:. They help me wrap my head around this core idea: And over what time scales? If a car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, an honest and competent mechanic is a godsend, and has genuine authority in that situation.
This is true even if, on a longer time scale, fossil-fueled transportation or nuclear fission plants, etc. I do think that, similar to the universal value of cognitive ability, there are a core of essential virtues.
Early western thought spoke of four cardinal virtues: Been coming to your blogs for a while. And particularly enjoy on your ideas on the literary Cannon.
Yet, in my later years, as an admitted and proud conspiracy theorist, I find myself leaning towards the Popcorn Cannon of mystery thrillers: And Sherlock, of course. Must admit that Shakespeare did a very good job with his palace intrigues but, in the evenings, with your hand tensely gripped around a glass of vino tinto, the thrillers do a very good job of sharpening the mind.
With that, cheers to your dedication. When I was a child and young teen I read books voraciously. Reading widely, and outside your own experience, seems like it would bring the most benefit. Since people come from different backgrouds and traditions the books that will most challenge them will also be different. That is to say, the way to avoid mutual incomprehension is to have a canon.
Previous Post Previous post: Next Post Next post: A Diversion of Sorts. If I may summarize, you seem to be suggesting that the books making up an effective canon will typically be found to be: Yorkshire, As JMG said, a proper response to your question would take a very large essay, but my thoughts on it is simple: Trades are slave work. Philosophy is for the free. I am definitely not a catholic, fwiw, but I do enjoy the occasional exorcism.
Then my mind wandered into more dangerous territory… Your offhand comment that a canon works much like a hierarchy, in that if it is abolished it is simply replaced with invisible and unaccountable ones… sent my mind in an unfortunate direction. JMG — Thank you for this series of essays on reading.
Curious, what are your thoughts on things like this? Greetings JMG, Exactly how big a cannon as you propose should be? And almost none of them have I yet read! Phutatorius, I need to reread Bloom, no question.
Thanks for the reminder. Brilliant essay, as usual! Judea Pearl, one of the pioneers of the field, recently came out as a huge critic: Greer, The other day I was walking across the pedantically manicured lawn of the university where I study to the library.
I would welcome your thoughts on this, if you can make sense of my ramblings! You old Nazi pig are reading Marx? Excellent post, as usual, John Michael.
A few scattered thoughts on this: JMG and Frank, I was inspired to post for two reasons. Hi Darkest Yorkshire, Having recently inherited a house, I have started learning how to make basic repairs! Pogonip, well, there you are.
De gustibus non disputandum est! Ray, and both those sets of reflections are important in the formation of a canon. Ivan, those are certainly good places to start! Dunc, thanks for the recommendation! Thank you for that. Nastarana, that might be something to do over at the Green Wizards forum. I also found Kirk very much worth reading.
Justin Patrick Moore Thank you ever so much. What is the difference between cannon and canon? After that discussion, I read the conclusions of the book and found the following personal statement by the author: Current values, such as liberalism, secularism, toleration, a sense of irony, an interest in the viewpoints of others, however skin-deep in our own society, were simply absent then, or at best only vestigially present, as indeed they have been absent from most of the societies of the past… I have amused myself while writing this book by trying to identify which, if any, late antique or early medieval writers that is, those whose personality we can recapture, at any rate in part, with least mediation I could imagine meeting with any real pleasure.
So I will try to keep things brief… but just to cite my sources… I suppose I owe Peterson an apology. Inequality and Hierarchy Give Life Its Purpose All these links consist of no commentary or distortion by others, but simply Peterson talking into the camera.
You can find it at pbs. Rita, that seems reasonable enough. Tripp, glad to hear it. Lew, a canon is one core ingredient in cultural literacy, so yes. Archdruid, Coming from a country where we have both an oral tradition and written tradition, I have to say the canon exists in both. Hi John Michael, Great stuff and an excellent suggestion! Hi John Michael, Almost forgot to mention. What do you reckon about, hmm, how do they put it? Reading between the lines? JMG, Apparently this year the University of Oklahoma offered a class in canonical western literature that was very successful.
The article is subscription only unfortunately but this blog has an extract from it: Apologies for a third post, but this has opened not so a much rabbit hole as a sinkhole. Almost completely off-topic, for poetry lovers: Thank you, Darkest Yorkshire!
Dear John Michael Greer, Thank you for another thought-provoking essay. I sincerely salute what you are doing here. Popcorn reading, I love the term. Yes, I have mine, too. Matthias Gralle, I never force a rhyme; I pronounce it with its normal modern pronunciation. At the same time, we readers live in a world of stunning abundance. Again, my appreciation to you for this blog. Shane, they certainly seem to be talking firing past each other at the moment….
Hi John Michael, Oh no! Have fun with it! This play has unlimited possibilities for news articles, feature articles, editorials, and other such newspaper writing. You might try looking up newspapers of the time period. Try the following links to help you with ideas! You could separate the paper into columns Maybe the Nurse could be the columnist I think the other posts really hit on the main idea. Having some editorials commenting about the Capulet and Montague feud in Verona might be interesting.
I like the idea of advertising swords with the slogan, "Fit enough for your worst enemy or best friend! You should have some news articles that summarize events in the story, as well. There is enough in the play that can be put in the newspaper, so push the envelope with it. Here is another idea for a news article: There could be a recording of a town hall meeting.
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