Thursday, December 16, 2010

Smart Stuff on Imagination, plus Books for Parents and Others

First, whet your appetite with a few lectures of interest, and a discussion of the fate of the picture book.

And now...
Finally, released for your reading pleasure!

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of your Child.

Anthony Esolen's new book describes the ways in which society and schooling are harming our children.  Yes, I know you have heard that before.  So have I, and I have seen it both as a student and a teacher.  But of the many, many books, magazine articles and lectures on the matter with which I have become familiar, this book sums up my thoughts most completely, and rather more eloquently (he even shares my distaste for the term "play date").  It's one of those books that I fill with scrappy bookmarks and quickly scribbled margin comments.  Professor Esolen's playful reversal--like Lewis' Screwtape, the author expounds upon the worst of  imagination-killers as though they were the most worthy methods--reminds us of our own complacency, of how the unnatural has become the norm and the natural the enemy, unnoticed.   Read this and see if you agree. (I suspect I have much more to say about this, and  I may discuss this in depth here at a later date.  Stay tuned!)

Even if you have no children, don't miss Professor Esolen's wonderful Ironies of Faith.  I think it would be an excellent guide for a small book club reading group.  Ah, to have the time and company!

Also, fans, new and old, of Professor Esolen's work may also enjoy the quite wonderful Touchstone magazine, and the companion blog, Mere Comments.

More published anecdotal thoughts on raising children:

Saving Childhood by movie critic Michael Medved

Weapons of Mass Instruction by education critic John Taylor Gatto

Why Gender Matters by Dr. Sacks (I don't agree with everything here, especially his ideas on giving "mature" teens birth control, but overall his observations on gender differences are sound).

And for the young man, grown and introspective:  The Compleat Gentleman by The Catholic Thing (website) editor Brad Miner.

1 comment:

Laura A said...

Wow, you've finished the book already? I'm unfortunately knee-deep in library books at the moment, but I can't wait to read this one. I did sneak ahead and read the introduction--loved it!

I'll look forward to your further posts on the subject, and hopefully will have read enough by then to be able to comment more intelligently.