Saturday, December 20, 2008

To Improve My Reading Skills...

I made a short review for Harold Bloom's book on How to read and why to read. It did not seem to be going in the direction my mind was hoping for. But he has made some interesting points that are creating interest in my thinking.

It sounds like the author is someone who uses Shakespeare like a Bible. He says,"First find Shakespeare, and let him find you." and that Shakespeare is the undisputed authority on inter generational conflicts more then anyone else. I'm glad we are reading plays by Shakespeare yet now I think I need to hear them more regularly.

In a later chapter I was scanning the introduction on novels and Bloom now has me interested in reading Don Quixote by Cervantes. I love to sing with The Man of La Moncha which I'm sure is just a glimpse into the real meaning. But he says that this is the best and first novel written and it rivals Shakespeare and that both need to be a part of our lives to understand the meaning of interpersonal relationships.

Here is what gets me wanting to read this great novel. Harold Bloom said that there are parts of ourselves that we will not know fully until we know as well as we can, the relationship between Don Quixote and Sancho. Very interesting, and curiouser and curiouser.I love this quote on page 24:

" You need not fear that the freedom of your development as a reader is selfish, because if you become an authentic reader, then the response to your labors will confirm you as an illumination to others."

That makes me think of the pure light of Jesus and his gospel. Becoming a light of truth. I like this potential.

Here are the points as to why we should read and his principles for why we read:

1. Read to weigh and consider.
2. Read to prepare yourself for change.
3. Read to form your own judgments and opinions.
4. Read to strengthen yourself.
5. Read to learn of the characters authentic interest. ( I like to think about Les Mis and the Bishop and his ability to love so freely.)

Principles as to why we should read:
1. To clear our minds of the word "can't"
2. Do Not try to change your neighbor or neighborhood by what or how you read. (until your mind is purged of it's ignorance).
3. A scholar is like a candle which the love and desire of all men will light. (don't fear the the freedom of your development as a reader)
4. One must invent to read well. (I'm not sure about this yet)
5. Recovery of the Ironic. (he says the loss of irony is the death of reading)(again I don't know what to think to this yet)

I think this book has great value, right now I am looking for something else. I turn next to Mortimer Adler and his book, How to Red a Book. Maybe I will find what I feel but I'm not actually sure what I'm looking for.



1 comment:

Max Weismann said...

We are a not-for-profit educational organization, founded by Mortimer Adler.

We have recently made an exciting discovery--three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos on the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.

For those of you who teach, this is great for the classroom.

I cannot over exaggerate how instructive these programs are--we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

Please go here to see a clip and learn more:

http://www.thegreatideas.org/HowToReadABook.htm