Before The Barbarians

This was exciting to those of us who began graduate school before political correctness set in. It made interpretation into a high-stakes game. You had to be wary to do it well, to focus acutely on the phenomena in front of you and keep your eyes on what lay behind you if you were to avoid the pitfalls of naive understanding. How you understood that Keats poem really made a difference. The very idea that you can or cannot determine precisely what the last lines of “Grecian Urn” mean had implications that extended beyond the classroom and into the meaning of life. Read more»

Mark Bauerlein, “When Theory Wasn’t Political,” First Things, August 22, 2020


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