Nine of Ten Ways

June 15, 2011

For the past few months I have been slowly reading through Anthony Esolen’s latest book, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. It is so packed full of (inverted) good sense that I thought I would try to get it a little more exposure: I asked our local city library to acquire a copy. To my delight, they ordered nine. Today I went to see if anyone has noticed them, and, to my even greater delight, I see that they are all in active circulation (except for one, which is apparently already lost).

I do believe that I have done a good deed, and made this city a little better than it was before. (It doesn’t take much.)

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4 Responses to “Nine of Ten Ways

  1. KathyB Says:

    Well, I have been absent from this blog for a little while and have missed a lot of good stuff! I intend to take this book out of the library when it gets back in circulation. I will post my comments again after I’ve read it.

  2. cburrell Says:

    I hope you can get your hands on it, as I’d be very interested to hear what you think about it. In many ways I think it will be ‘right up your alley’, but it’s quite an uncompromising book, and may rub you the wrong way here and there.

    I hope to write about it sometime soon myself, but I’m afraid that circumstances may overtake me before I have a chance.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I did manage to get this book from the library and read it a couple of weeks ago. There is enough in it to make it worthy of a proper review, and to make me wish I had an appropriate blog of my own where I could post it. For this thread, I will stick to the main questions which this book raised, which is: Why do we value imagination in a child? Do we think it correlates with success as an adult? (I’m not sure whether it does or not). And then, more deeply, What constitutes success as an adult? I think this was a valuable book for making me ponder these questions. I have been thinking all this over for a couple of weeks, but don’t really have any answers, beyond that what I really want for my children is to achieve salvation (which is to me the most important thing, and yet one that can’t entirely be under my control).

    Incidentally, this book contained the most succinct and accurate analysis of “The Handmaid’s Tale” that I have ever encountered.

  4. cburrell Says:

    Those are good thoughts already. Success according to Esolen’s standards is something that is as accessible to someone born and raised in rural Manitoba as it is to someone trained at the best schools and living in a major cultural or commercial city: family, friends, virtue, devotion, and real knowledge. It is certainly at odds with the standards of success promoted by, for instance, Tiger Moms.

    Yes, that summary of Ms. Atwood’s lurid fable was a corker!


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