Monday, April 09, 2007

on "classic" education.....and not being intimidated

I've been reading a book titled Starting from Scratch by Rita Mae Brown. She has some very strong ideas about what you need to do to be a writer. Last night I decided that she's entitled to her opinion, but not everything she says is required.

She is a strong proponent of the idea that you need to have a college degree (preferably 2 or 3) and be able to read in Latin (required) and a couple of "modern" languages (French, Spanish) to be able to write anything worth while.

Here’s what I have to say to Ms. Brown: ”Pfffffffsssssst!”

I went to public schools. In fact, I attended what was at the time the largest elementary school in the state. This was in the 1950s in the suburbs. We were “taught” to read with “See Jane Run”. I’m convinced it was good my grandmother had already taught me to read—I was bored out of my mind by the end of the first week.

My husband, on the other hand, attended Catholic school (ok, he’s 13 years older too, and a lot can go down hill in that long) – and he got a “Classic” education. He’s read philosophy and classic literature. (He and my daughter discuss Dunne and Kant---she has a college degree)

So, as I was saying, I went to public schools, I never had the opportunity to go to a 4 year college….there’s a huge gap in my “classical” reading, but I can recite from memory parts of Robert Lewis Stevenson and Longfellow’s Hiawatha. My grandmother was an educated woman (a woman born in the 1890s who went to college!), she loved poetry, she recited it to me.

I much prefer Julia Cameron’s idea …. We have the RIGHT to WRITE. We live in this language (and help it to grow).

Again I say ”Pfffffffsssssst!” I’m going to keep on writing!


Marty: said...

Good for you!

Nancy G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy G said...

Sounds like she thinks she is Chief of the Writing Police. I would tell her the same thing I tell people who are members of the Knitting Police: stuff it! Or, if you want to get crude: