What Are Great Books and Art?
Great Books and Art
Adler also identified 102 great ideas which can be traced through them. You can read more under Great Ideas, but in summary, the great books deal with age-old questions that all of human experience shares in common, such as “time” and “justice.” Through great books, students learn to engage with arguments and assumptions from times very different from their own. And, they develop deeply rooted moral imaginations and perspectives on life, especially through great children’s literature.
When dealing with these classic books, educators must guard against two dangers. The first is considering our subjective interpretations of the book too much and the author’s actual point too little. The second danger is placing ourselves above the book and dissecting it, like a scientist dissects a cat, without learning to enjoy or appreciate the book. We strive to read the books as they were intended to be read: as texts written by authors who have something important to say, and as writing that was meant to be enjoyed.
Why Read the Classics?
It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.
Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period.