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October 11, 2010

How about some practical knowledge, lit kids?

U of C philosophy professor Robert Pippin, also on the Committee of Social Thought, wrote a blog post for the New York Times arguing for "naïve readings" of literature.

"Call this a plea for a place for “naïve” reading, teaching and writing — an appreciation and discussion not mediated by a theoretical research question recognizable as such by the modern academy," he writes.

Pippin has thrown down the gauntlet.

Read a novel, any novel, and don't, for one second, see what you're reading through any lens. No feminism, no psychoanalysis, no structuralism, no post-structuralism, no deconstruction, no post-colonialism, no new criticism (or old criticism for that matter).

You've taken Critical Perspectives already? Sorry, you're out of the running. Maybe they'll change it to Naïve Perspectives, a course on how to unlearn your quarter-of-a-million-dollar education. Either way, you're still jobless, right?

Good luck.

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