“Surely this escape from the tyranny of the immediate is one of the key goods of education. In a culture of instant gratification and instant communication, young people increasingly need help to contextualize: to recognize that the world beyond their own immediate lives is real, interesting, and “relevant,” not only on their own doorstep but also in other parts of the world, and in the past of their own civilization and that of others. Reading widely in the literatures of the past is not generally going to offer immediate practical solutions to present social problems. But this kind of reading is set fair to create a more thoughtful, sensitive, and articulate public sphere where awareness of past crises, their contexts and the rhetoric around them, will inform and broaden present response. If the humanities can’t save us, they can surely and beautifully help us to see what salvation might truly involve.”

-Deborah Bowen, “Why Bother With the Humanities in a Time of Crisis?”, Comment Magazine

14321150