a nice opinion piece in the most recent GW Hatchet. Rochelle urges the University not to shortchange the humanities, and cites last week's Toni Morrison events as a notable celebration of the humanities in general and literature in particular.
As Rochelle notes, Morrison referred to reading a mode of discovery--not just of the self but the world outside the self. She recalled reading an adult novel lying around her Lorain, Ohio home and enjoying it while not really understanding a word. (Her mother belonged to a book club, and the book delved into psycho-sexual themes.) Morrison implied that this early appetite for reading and curiosity about language were key to her development as a writer. Her advice to kids? "Read anything and everything."
I wonder if readers of this blog can remember "forbidden" books they read in childhood? I gobbled up novels by Pearl Buck and Leon Uris, and read Erica Jong's Fear of Flying before I had any idea what it was about. (The cover offered a hint, but beyond that I was clueless.)