The high-school English teacher
will be fulfilling his responsibility
if he furnished the student a guided opportunity,
through the best writing in the past,
to come, in time,
to an understanding of the best writing of the present…

And if the student finds that this is not to his taste?
Well, that is regrettable.  Most regrettable.
His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.

~ Flannery O’Connor in Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose


8 thoughts on “Regrettable

  1. The father of a friend of mine asked once his child if he liked some painting. The son (my friend) hesitated and his father replied: “You are in front of a master piece, so stay there until you like it”.

  2. Boy, I wish more of my English professors believed this!!! I am always amazed at the (many times ignorant) strong opinions students in their twenties have of the literature we read. I sit in my seat, so many times, inwardly shaking my head and thinking, “STOP NOW! Before you make an even bigger fool of yourself!” But then again, it’s all part of the learning process, I have to remember.

  3. Beckey has just finished analyzing Swift’s “Modest Proposal” and her Wr. 121  instructor commented that “many” students just don’t get it and refuse to read it and he is forced to allow other material that is less effective at making the point. de-evolution at its best.

Comments are cinnamon on my oatmeal!

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