Rei Helkamire's Reviews > The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had

The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
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's review
Jan 08, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction

A very friendly and informative guide to reading "great works" of Western literature. I admire the author for managing to sketch out the history of each genre (fiction, historical writing, autobiographies, plays, poetry) in a concise manner that still captures the main themes and developments over the course of history. Only for English literature, mind, which she points out early on. (To study French, German, Russian traditions, etc, both author and reader would need to be fluent in the language to do it proper service.)

Author acknowledges the common obstacles to reading classical literature - distraction, trouble with comprehension, long-standing issues with the reading process itself - and recommends ways to tackle them, including step-by-step guides and handy comprehension questions.

I especially liked the suggestion of buying cheap copies in order to write notes in them - I used to write notes the length of essays along the margins of the poems we studied for GCSE English. I'll be attempting the lists, or at least those of it that I haven't read yet, for a clearer understanding of the history and development of literature.

Favorite piece of advice:
"Some books speak to us at one time of life and are silent at another. If a book remains voiceless to you, put it down and read the next book on the list." (p. 51, Chapter 4)
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Reading Progress

January 8, 2012 – Started Reading
January 8, 2012 – Shelved
January 8, 2012 –
page 183
42.36% "History of historical writing."
January 9, 2012 –
page 307
January 10, 2012 – Shelved as: non-fiction
January 10, 2012 – Finished Reading

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