Chapter

Coda: Teaching Literature in a Discredited Civilization

Allen Grossman

in True-Love

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780226309736
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226309750 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226309750.003.0007
Coda: Teaching Literature in a Discredited Civilization

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This chapter argues that the business of teachers is to discover and then to demand all the authority that flows from their obligations as teachers. That is their given style of exemplary engagement. An understanding of that authority will arise when the self-interest, mutual but not identical, of teacher and student in the civilization transmitted is known. The business of the literary teacher is to understand her civilization as it is the life-space of the person: consoling, redemptive, but also treacherous, abhorrent, arbitrary, absurd. To administer civilization on behalf of rather than in scorn of humanity now appears to be the hardest problem that has ever confronted mind.

Keywords: teachers; teaching; authority; self-interest; civilization; humanity

Chapter.  4736 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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