[Milton-L] text questions

Carol Barton cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Tue Feb 5 22:13:30 EST 2008


Derek, an even funnier example of the phenomenon to which you point is what 
happens when an undergraduate attempts for the first time to read a line 
like "Where the bee sucks, there suck I" with old-style long esses.

That experience (though with a phrase leff familiar) was what taught me to 
be very careful about transliteration . . . and it's one I think all 
students can overcome.

On the other side of that coin: with administrations everywhere (not just in 
the US, but in Canada and the UK, too) pandering to their "customers," the 
bar gets lower and lower and lower. The whine "I can't" becomes 
justification for "nor should you have to."

Where, then, does that leave the ones who *can* and *will* rise to the 
challenge--whether they warm to the text at first exposure or not? I don't 
remember reading Chaucer as an undergraduate being easy for me--in fact, I 
remember it being bloody hard!--and I'm sure that all of us can agree on 
that score. But if our teachers hadn't insisted--had made it easy for 
us--would any of us have bothered?

And where then, pray tell, would this list have gotten its constituents 
from?

Ask not for whom the bell tolls---

Best to all,

Carol Barton 




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