Read The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination by Robert Coles Free Online
Book Title: The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination|
The author of the book: Robert Coles
Edition: Mariner Books
Date of issue: January 5th 1990
ISBN 13: 9780395528150
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.60 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.9
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This book gave me a long list of titles that I would either like to read for the first time--Tillie Olson's Tell Me a Riddle, William Carlos Williams's Paterson; or titles that I would like to revisit--The Death of Ivan Ilyich, The Brothers Karamazov…
Still, there were times reading this book when I felt as acutely from the wrong side of the tracks as I ever have. Coles is doubtless a wonderful teacher and doctor, but his is a rarified world indeed, full of Harvard students on their way to illustrious careers in medicine or finance, students who are more than willing to write extensive heartfelt reflections on the books he assigns. They reflect on the struggle to live conscientiously as they tread the path of noblesse oblige toward their future riches. Yet there's a cynical part of me that suspects some of them will have become high class cads by now--managers of hedge funds or some such form of legalized theft.
And I have to confess that as a high school English teacher, I felt a certain amount of envy--something not usually high on my list of vices, but boy did this book stimulate THAT latent talent. Coles not only gets to meet and talk extensively with William Carlos Williams and Enrico Fermi (in Fermi's dying days), but his students--whom I've already bad-mouthed, probably unfairly--actually want to read literature and write about it. In my much more common experience of teaching high school English, where I'm dying for students to engage in literature the way Coles's students have, I find myself instead worn down by years of, "How long does it have to be?" and "Do you want us to double-space?"
I'm sure Coles would be saddened to read this response to his work, especially since I agree with his belief in the power of literature to inform the conscience. But I had to overcome a lot of resentment to get there! My apologies, professor. Perhaps I should take your class!
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Read information about the authorChild psychiatrist, author, Harvard professor.
Robert Coles is a professor of psychiatry and medical humanities at the Harvard Medical School, a research psychiatrist for the Harvard University Health Services, and the James Agee Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard College.