Tuesday, October 16, 2012

News at Eleven: Catherine Robson: If you go back to end of

the 18th century, beginning of the 19th century, it was all about elocution, learning to be an effective public speaker. . . . Also the idea that if you had all these things inside you, then you'd have this internal stock that would improve your own writing style; you'd have all these lovely quotations you'd be able to put into your written and spoken language.

Then, throughout the 19th century, the moral importance becomes more important. It's a way of stocking the child's minds with good Christian religious thoughts. . . . Then still later, once we're into more nationalistic modes, it's about the best that's been thought and said in your particular language. . . . It's a way of celebrating the culture of the country. . . . So it has all these different meanings at different times.

from The Boston Globe: When the classroom rang with poetry


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