Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Q.: Why is it that, when I leave class aware of not having done justice to a literary text, I feel as if I have betrayed it?

A. [via Patrick Kurp]: “I have always wished that I would never lose the belief that great works of the spirit are more objective than we are. And they will judge us. Someone very rightly said that not only do we read Homer, look at frescoes of Giotto, listen to Mozart, but Homer, Giotto and Mozart steal looks at us, eavesdrop on us and ascertain our vanity and stupidity.” (Zbigniew Herbert)


R/T said...

As a teacher, I sometimes feel the same way and worse. Perhaps that is because teaching is an art (rather than a science as most teacher education programs would like people to believe). Art, to state it plainly, is a frustrating endeavor. Teachers attempt to create something significant with each "performance." The inability to do so every now and then is simply unavoidable but irksome and frustrating.

I hope my comments are not construed as patronizing or nonsensical. I very much believe in what I try to do as a teacher. My comments are part of my "teacher's aesthetic," to coin a phrase, for whatever it might be worth.