Thursday, February 20, 2014

Why Read the Classics: LaRae's Thoughts

Our older daughter, in her third year at Hillsdale College, shares below why she has continued taking English classes at Hillsdale even though she no longer is an English major. I thought it was a beautiful write-up which addresses her love of classic literature and illustrates its value.


When I came to Hillsdale, I planned to major in English. I have always loved to read, to

write, and to talk, and I figured these would be the three qualifications most important

for one wishing to become “an English major.” Today, I am double-majoring in Latin

and Greek and minoring in music. At Hillsdale, my perspective of my own unique set of

talents has been rigorously refined. Far from cramping my ability to enjoy great literature,

however, my concentration in languages has opened new corridors of reference and

intertextuality that cross all sorts of cultural and historical barriers. My love for literature

has in no way been dampened. Only one semester was I ever able to go without taking

an English class, and last semester I took two to make up for it. I continue to squeeze

into my already overstuffed schedule every English class that I can fit, motivated primarily

by the desire, perhaps a bit selfish, to name as my friends some of the most thoughtful,

and thought-provoking, members of the human family, the authors of great literature. I am

thoroughly convinced that a shared, engaged exploration of what it means to be human in

all its amazing facets provides the most enduring foundation for fellowship between souls.

Literature offers a medium for the exchange of ideas, emotions, and experiences that

transcends the boundaries of time and space, allowing individuals to communicate with

each other and thereby to create trans-historical and trans-geographical friendships based

on a common pursuit of truth and of divine beauty.

© 2013 J. LaRae Ferguson