For the Love of Literature (eBook)

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For the Love of Literature: A Celebration of Language and Imagination

An unnoticed component of the present educational, social, and even ecological crises lies in the declining value given what we correctly call the “humanities.” The study of the living words of great authors—Homer, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, the Romantic poets, the Russian novelists—no longer forms the basis of the education of the human soul. The imagination is disparaged, marginalized, politicized, and devalued. Young people are instead fed a monotonous diet of information, scientism, and technology. While these are certainly important and useful—maybe even necessary to our survival—once they become the basis for educating our children, the result is an assault on what it means to be human.

Built around the work of Christy MacKaye Barnes, the themes of this collection include the training of imagination, speech, and poetry, and expanding human capacities through the study of great authors. The writers include many of the great first-generation English teachers in the Waldorf movement.


  • Part One
  • Christy MacKaye Barnes, nine essays, including:
  • “Can the Imagination Be Trained?”
  • “The Crisis of the Word Today”
  • “Why Write?”
  • “Schooling Capacities through the Study of Great Authors”
  • “Backgrounds for Russian Literature”
  • Part Two
  • Adam Bittleston, “The Future of the English Language”
  • L. Francis Edmunds, “Literature in the Upper School”
  • Linda Sawers, “In the Footsteps of Dante”
  • Isabelle Wyatt, “Chaucer and the Modern Consciousness”
  • A. C. Harwood, “Fair Mountain and Fine City”
  • Adam Bittleston, “Shakespeare’s Troubled Kings”
  • Ursula Grahl, “In Quest of the Holy Grail”
  • L. Francis Edmunds, “The Trials of Parsifal”
  • Hugh Hetherington, “Grail Mountain and Garden of Marvels”
  • Eileen Hutchins, “Wolfram and Wagner”
  • Adam Bittleston, “Christopher Fry and the Riddle of Evil”
  • Susan Demanett, “Questing toward a True Understanding of Grammar”
  • Dorit Winter, “We Love Grammar”

This collection is essential for anyone interested in the Waldorf curriculum and in restoring a real study of literature for young people.

Additional information


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Douglas Gerwin




February 1997






Steiner Books


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