Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mea Culpa

I'm off to Wales today for some book talk, but I am ashamed to say that - although I have polished off the other three nominations - I haven't reread 'Crime and Punishment' even though I am the one who recommended it. I remember it reasonably well even though I first read it years ago, so a little internet revision and a flick through the paperback will have to take the strain.

On the importance of reading - now that I am feeling remorseful for ducking Dostoevsky - I was very struck by this review of 'Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point' last week.
While freshmen down in Manhattan at Columbia and NYU think about jobs and paychecks they'll secure after graduation, and hook-ups they make before it, cadets have a rigorous regimented existence in class and out, and they know they will assume command of 30 men and women when it's over, probably in a hot zone.
The prospect throws them into hard questions of life and death, duty and sacrifice, courage and leadership, and they probe great works to figure them out.

Another stereotype bites the dust.

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