Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

Câteva citate despre educație și cărți:

“It starts when the child is as young as five or six, when he arrives at school. It starts with marks, rewards, “places”, “streams”, stars and still in many places, stripes. This horserace mentality, the victor and loser way of thinking… […] From the very beginning, the child is trained to think in this way: always in terms of comparison, of success and of failure. It is a weeding-out system: the weaker get discouraged and fall out; a system designed to produce a few winners who are always in competition with each other. […]

The other thing taught from the start is to distrust one’s own judgement. Children are taught submission to authority, how to search for other people’s opinions and decisions, and how to quote and comply.”

“Dear Student, you are mad. Why spend months and years writing thousands of words about one book, or even one writer, when there are hundreds of books waiting to be read. You don’t see that you are the victim of a pernicious system. And if you have yourself chosen my work as your subject, and if you do have to write a thesis – and believe me I am very grateful that what I’ve written is being found useful by you – then why don’t you read what I have written and make up your own mind about what you think, testing it against your own life, your own experience. Never mind about Professors White and Black.”

“There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those, dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag – and never, never reading anything because you feel you ought, or because it is part of a trend or a movement. Remember that the book that bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty – and vice-versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you. […] The people who have been conditioned into thinking only in terms of what is written – and unfortunately nearly all the products of our educational system can do no more than this – are missing what is before their eyes.”

“…when a book comes out on a certain subject, let’s say star-gazing, instantly o dozen colleges, societies, television programmes write to the author asking him to come and speak about star-gazing. The last thing it occurs to them to do is to read the book. This behaviour is considered quite normal, and not ridiculous at all…”

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