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A book is a literary compass that has the potential to direct our thoughts and actions:

"Everything we read stimulates our mind to think, and what we think determines what we desire, and desires are the seedbed of our actions. Given this iron law of human nature--from reading to thinking, to desiring, to acting--we are shaping our destiny by the ideas we choose to have enter our minds through print." - Fr. John Hardon, S.J., The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

Welcome to my own personal exploration of life through reading the great books of the world.

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Location: Spokane, Washington, United States

"Every soul that uplifts itself uplifts the world." --Elisabeth Leseur

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Dickens' Hard Times

For this week's First Line Friday here is the opening to Charles Dickens' Hard Times:
"Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon facts; nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!"
What an effective introduction to Mr. Thomas Gradgrind, the educational theorist of Coketown. Gradgrind believes that things like poetry and fairytales are "destructive nonsense." Unfortunately, judging from ongoing news about budget cuts to music and other arts programs, it appears Thomas Gradgrind is still alive and well in the 21st century.

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posted by Nick Senger at 6:21 AM

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