English major argument redux

Yet more weighing-in on why one might wish to choose to major in English as an undergrad, this time from Mark Edmundson:


Edmundson writes:

Real reading is reincarnation. There is no other way to put it. It is being born again into a higher form of consciousness than we ourselves possess. When we walk the streets of Manhattan with Walt Whitman or contemplate our hopes for eternity with Emily Dickinson, we are reborn into more ample and generous minds.

(He even quotes Heidegger!)

This does not mean all English/literature/humanities folks think alike. In fact, the beauty of it is, we all think differently.

4 comments on “English major argument redux

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I have a degree in English and education and so many people do not understand why I love studying English so much. I love it because there is no correct answer or perspective. English and literature is not something to be studied alone, but should be experienced with a group. The more opinions the better! We learn the best from one another.


  2. KM Huber says:

    Am really enjoying these “English major” articles so thank so much for posting them. As I have said, the English major is so suited to so many fields. I have never found the study a hindrance.



  3. I hope we can keep young people excited about literature and poetics, art and philosophy, and history–all of which intersect with the English major. We do learn best from and with one another: diverse perspectives enrich thinking. Thanks for the acknowledgment. Sometimes I feel like a voice crying in the wilderness….


  4. […] is the Year of the Horse, and I’m on my high horse again about the value of the humanities and the liberal arts […]


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