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Reading the Classics via The Well Educated Mind
#1  Loosheesh 07-24-2020, 05:48 PM
I'm curious whether anyone here has read Susan Wise Bauer's The Well Educated Mind and embarked on its classics reading project. Or may be thinking of starting it? I'm reading the book now (again ) and I want to start on the reading list (first book is Don Quixote!) but have no RL friend to be my reading partner. My friends are either non-readers, not interested in the classics, or not willing to attempt this project.

Is anyone doing it or interested in doing it?

Book Description (2nd edition):
Spoiler Warning below






The enduring and engaging guide to educating yourself in the classical tradition.

Have you lost the art of reading for pleasure? Are there books you know you should read but haven’t because they seem too daunting? In The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer provides a welcome and encouraging antidote to the distractions of our age, electronic and otherwise.

Newly expanded and updated to include standout works from the twenty-first century as well as essential readings in science (from the earliest works of Hippocrates to the discovery of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs), The Well-Educated Mind offers brief, entertaining histories of six literary genres—fiction, autobiography, history, drama, poetry, and science—accompanied by detailed instructions on how to read each type. The annotated lists at the end of each chapter—ranging from Cervantes to Cormac McCarthy, Herodotus to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Aristotle to Stephen Hawking—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. Bauer will show you how to allocate time to reading on a regular basis; how to master difficult arguments; 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.

In her best-selling work on home education, The Well-Trained Mind, the author provided a road map of classical education for parents wishing to home-school their children; that book is now the premier resource for home-schoolers. In The Well-Educated Mind, Bauer takes the same elements and techniques and adapts them to the use of adult readers who want both enjoyment and self-improvement from the time they spend reading. Followed carefully, her advice will restore and expand the pleasure of the written word.
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#2  issybird 07-24-2020, 06:41 PM
I’ve moved this to the Reading Recommendations forum, as you’ll have seen.

Frankly, I’d love a boot in the arse to reread Don Quixote. I’ve meant to for years, so I’d be delighted to work this out. The Edith Grossman translation is already sitting on my Kobo. The timing’s good, too; as it hasn’t been that long since I’ve come off the internet group read of War and Peace.

Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of Susan Wise Bauer, but that’s irrelevant. If she’s the catalyst, whatever it takes.
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#3  JSWolf 07-24-2020, 06:53 PM
Sound interesting. I've put a reserve for it at the library.
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#4  Loosheesh 07-25-2020, 08:58 AM
Quote issybird
I’ve moved this to the Reading Recommendations forum, as you’ll have seen.

Frankly, I’d love a boot in the arse to reread Don Quixote. I’ve meant to for years, so I’d be delighted to work this out. The Edith Grossman translation is already sitting on my Kobo. The timing’s good, too; as it hasn’t been that long since I’ve come off the internet group read of War and Peace.

Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of Susan Wise Bauer, but that’s irrelevant. If she’s the catalyst, whatever it takes.
Thanks for the move - I debated for some seconds which of the two to post in.

And thanks for the interest. I'll be following the process she outlines (the grammar-logic-rhetoric steps) so my progress will likely be excruciatingly slow

In the first edition of TWEM, Bauer recommended the Rutherford translation of Don Quixote, which I have in paperback. In the second edition, however, she changed her recommendation to the Grossman translation (which I have in ebook). The first TWEM edition was published in 2003 and the Grossman translation came out in 2005, so that makes some sense of the change.

Helpful Links
Reading List
Spoiler Warning below






Between the two editions, the main change in the reading lists is that she added a science list. Also, she added Cormac McCarthy's The Road to the fiction list. There may be other changes I didn't notice.
Book page on the author's website
Spoiler Warning below






She links to public domain versions of some of the books.
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#5  Loosheesh 07-25-2020, 09:03 AM
Quote JSWolf
Sound interesting. I've put a reserve for it at the library.
The ebook is wildly expensive - $19.25!

I have the first edition in both ebook (which I picked up for only $0.87 when Kobo had their mad codes back in the day) and hardcover but I've also had to resort to the library for the second edition.
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#6  Catlady 07-25-2020, 03:11 PM
I'm in for reading Don Quixote.
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#7  JSWolf 07-25-2020, 03:28 PM
Quote Catlady
I'm in for reading Don Quixote.
Which translation is recommended to read?
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#8  Loosheesh 07-25-2020, 08:25 PM
Quote JSWolf
Which translation is recommended to read?
Edith Grossman's
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#9  pwalker8 07-25-2020, 09:29 PM
Quote issybird
I’ve moved this to the Reading Recommendations forum, as you’ll have seen.

Frankly, I’d love a boot in the arse to reread Don Quixote. I’ve meant to for years, so I’d be delighted to work this out. The Edith Grossman translation is already sitting on my Kobo. The timing’s good, too; as it hasn’t been that long since I’ve come off the internet group read of War and Peace.

Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of Susan Wise Bauer, but that’s irrelevant. If she’s the catalyst, whatever it takes.
Bauer's The History of the Ancient World, The History of the Medieval World and The History of the Renaissance World are excellent overviews of the history of the Western World. I do understand that her views on home schooling are considered heretical by the some.

I'll have to give it a try. A one time, it was widely accepted that a well educated person had a common base of knowledge. One could quote "It was the best of times and the worst of times" or "Call me Ismael" and everyone recognized the references.
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#10  issybird 07-26-2020, 09:39 AM
Quote Catlady
I'm in for reading Don Quixote.
Quote Loosheesh
Thanks for the move - I debated for some seconds which of the two to post in.

And thanks for the interest. I'll be following the process she outlines (the grammar-logic-rhetoric steps) so my progress will likely be excruciatingly slow

In the first edition of TWEM, Bauer recommended the Rutherford translation of Don Quixote, which I have in paperback. In the second edition, however, she changed her recommendation to the Grossman translation (which I have in ebook). The first TWEM edition was published in 2003 and the Grossman translation came out in 2005, so that makes some sense of the change.

Helpful Links
Reading List
Spoiler Warning below






Between the two editions, the main change in the reading lists is that she added a science list. Also, she added Cormac McCarthy's The Road to the fiction list. There may be other changes I didn't notice.
Book page on the author's website
Spoiler Warning below






She links to public domain versions of some of the books.
Would you perhaps like to suggest a time table for Don Quixote, at least to get started? I know for me, a framework would probably be best, especially if we’re to discuss it, but the discipline of having to hit marks would be good in any case.

And perhaps a dedicated thread with Don Quixote in the header might pull in some punters?
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