Real Voices pp 125-136 | Cite as

Reading about Things: or Hannibal Goes for the Mail

  • John Bayley


During my years as a university teacher in English I have often wondered how the job should ideally be done, only to conclude that, as with most other human arrangements, there are no ideal ways, and perhaps not even any particularly good ones. So much depends, as with all levels of the teaching process, from the earliest study of books onwards, upon the individual teacher. English is most unusual as an academic subject in that good instruction, and reception, does not really get more complex or sophisticated as time goes on. Good books, bad books too, remain much the same; and the will, or the wish, to read them probably does not change very much between the ages of 12 and 20. English can never truly count as an academic subject for this reason. There is no natural progress, as in other kinds of study.


Literary Theory Academic Subject Paradise Lost Crossword Puzzle Primal Reading 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

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  • John Bayley

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