The Well Educated Mind (Hardcover)
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393050943, 432pp.
Publication Date: August 17, 2003
The Well-Educated Mind offers brief, entertaining histories of five literary genres--fiction, autobiography, history, drama, and poetry--accompanied by detailed instructions on how to read each type. The annotated lists at the end of each chapter--ranging from Cervantes to A. S. Byatt, Herodotus to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich--preview recommended reading and encourage readers to make vital connections between ancient traditions and contemporary writing. The Well-Educated Mind reassures those readers who worry that they read too slowly or with below-average comprehension. If you can understand a daily newspaper, there's no reason you can't read and enjoy Shakespeare's Sonnets or Jane Eyre. But no one should attempt to read the "Great Books" without a guide and a plan. Susan Wise Bauer will show you how to allocate time to your reading on a regular basis; how to master a difficult argument; how to make personal and literary judgments about what you read; how to appreciate the resonant links among texts within a genre--what does Anna Karenina owe to Madame Bovary?--and also between genres. Followed carefully, the advice in The Well-Educated Mind will restore and expand the pleasure of the written word.