15 Comments

This explains so much. Thank you for what you do.

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author

Thank you for reading!

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You express here some of the central values I have taught for years in my philosophy classes—far more elegantly than I've been able to express them. Thank you.

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Thank you, Henry. We’re very glad you do!

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Jun 11Liked by Henry Oliver

Splendid ! Thank you.

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"The true reader wants to see great work for themselves, to know what Jane Austen is in the way that the only way to know a river or a mountain is to go to it. The common reader wants to understand, not just experience." This captures so elegantly why we read: in books and in life the only way to truth is to embark on the journey ourselves. Thanks for what you do!

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Thank you for this and for all that you write. You're right in that most of what we find under 'Literature' is not that. Most, if not all of us writers want a chance to grow, but writing the sort of essays you write is where I go to expand my mind and enlarge my soul

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Jun 10Liked by Henry Oliver

Explicate!!! What a wonderful word…

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author

I love that word :)

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Judicious reading: an essential skill for literature and life.

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Whatever plebs are crowding these leaderboards (I'm new, still learning my way around), I think it matters not when the like minds find like minds. The right people will read, and hopefully others will too and learn to love learning, the way you do with such enthusiasm! Thank you for writing !

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Interesting conversation! I always find it fascinating to remember that Jane Austen embraced the popular culture of her time - theater and novels were not then respected art forms! - and not only that but she embedded a defense of her engagement with pop-culture/novels in Northanger Abbey:

"Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another; we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried."

Austen is all for: Trash, fancy, novels, and unaffected pleasure - in her own words! 🎉

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I agree, and sometimes wrote about having a catholic taste in art, but there simply is no equivalence between Netflix and Austen, for example, and I want to promote a culture that acknowledges the differences.

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Totally get that, and appreciate it. Thanks for the response!

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author

Sure! Austen’s a good example generally in fact. The philistine reading of her novels totally overlooks her genius

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