Ashamed of my profession

Scholar and writer Mary Grabar documents just how bad it has gotten in literary studies, with its jargon-ridden, meaning-denying, politically-correct scholarship that tears down authors instead of helping us understand them. Dr. Grabar zeroes in on how our establishment universities are giving the heroic Alexander Solzhenitsyn pretty much the same treatment he received in the Soviet gulags. A sample, referring to his story “Matryona’s Home,” about a woman living out her Christian faith amidst the cruelties of communism:

Under “classroom strategies” in the Norton instructor’s manual, teachers are told that they are likely to encounter the problem of students accepting the “truth” of what Solzhenitsyn has to say: “Because the story answers to most of the myths and preconceptions Westerners already have about Soviet life, the problem will be to make sure that students read it with the same degree of resistance with which they would normally confront any other piece of fiction.” Here we have the apologists for communism directing teachers: All that you’ve heard about the brutality of communism is merely part of our “myths and preconceptions.” Students must be reeducated to “resist” the testimony of Solzhenitsyn as dramatized in his fictional account.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I would love to see the response if the same professors recommended the same level of doubt for literature dealing with the Holocaust. You would think that the English buildings were the ROTC buildings in 1968 from the response.

    What is it with these guys who have no clue about history, and have no clue that Solzhenitsyn actually lived through these kind of things?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I would love to see the response if the same professors recommended the same level of doubt for literature dealing with the Holocaust. You would think that the English buildings were the ROTC buildings in 1968 from the response.

    What is it with these guys who have no clue about history, and have no clue that Solzhenitsyn actually lived through these kind of things?

  • Dan

    If you haven’t read THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO ENGLISH AND AMERICAN LITERATURE by Elizabeth Kantor, I highly recommend it. She cuts through the destructive jargon of our literary establishment and provides a much-needed breath of fresh air. A perfect antidote for this type of nonsense.

  • Dan

    If you haven’t read THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO ENGLISH AND AMERICAN LITERATURE by Elizabeth Kantor, I highly recommend it. She cuts through the destructive jargon of our literary establishment and provides a much-needed breath of fresh air. A perfect antidote for this type of nonsense.

  • http://thekurths.com Derek Kurth

    Here’s a comic on that topic: http://xkcd.com/451/

  • http://thekurths.com Derek Kurth

    Here’s a comic on that topic: http://xkcd.com/451/

  • Steve Rowe

    “Giving the heroic Alexander Solzhenitsyn pretty much the same treatment he received in the Soviet gulags.” A little bit too much hyperbole perhaps? The Western literary establishment gave the man a Nobel Prize for heaven’s sake if thay want to chip away at the Giants clay feet let them. Solzhenitsyn was a great man and he may even be a saint but he has also lent his credibility to the unholy fusion of Church and state that characterize modern Russia. If I am ever given a choice between living in the decadent west and the modern authoritarian and Orthodox Russia. I will cast my vote for decadence.

    Peace

    Steve in Toronto

  • Steve Rowe

    “Giving the heroic Alexander Solzhenitsyn pretty much the same treatment he received in the Soviet gulags.” A little bit too much hyperbole perhaps? The Western literary establishment gave the man a Nobel Prize for heaven’s sake if thay want to chip away at the Giants clay feet let them. Solzhenitsyn was a great man and he may even be a saint but he has also lent his credibility to the unholy fusion of Church and state that characterize modern Russia. If I am ever given a choice between living in the decadent west and the modern authoritarian and Orthodox Russia. I will cast my vote for decadence.

    Peace

    Steve in Toronto


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