Friday, August 15, 2008

Teaching "A Day in the Life"

You have to be real careful with that stuff by Solzhenitsyn.

...under “classroom strategies” in the Norton instructor’s manual, teachers are told that they are likely to encounter the problem of students accepting the “truth” of what Solzhenitsyn has to say: “Because the story answers to most of the myths and preconceptions Westerners already have about Soviet life, the problem will be to make sure that students read it with the same degree of resistance with which they would normally confront any other piece of fiction.” Here we have the apologists for communism directing teachers: All that you’ve heard about the brutality of communism is merely part of our “myths and preconceptions.” Students must be reeducated to “resist” the testimony of Solzhenitsyn as dramatized in his fictional account.

Of course, for the thousands of "Ivan Ivanovitch"es who survived the Gulag, it wasn't really "fiction."

HT: Ace of Spades

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