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Aldous Huxley—On Lecturing

October 16, 2007

You’re thinking: Of course this guy, who posts a lot here at H&E and likes to think about great books and their authors, wants to lecture us on more wisdom to be gleaned from another DWM (Dead White Male).

With a touch of irony, my answer to your implicit question is yes. Check out this Aldous Huxley quote I found via William M. Chace’s 100 Semesters (p. 126, Princeton Press):

“Lecturing as a method of instruction dates from classical and mediaeval times, before the invention of printing. When books were worth their weight in gold, professors had to lecture. Cheap printing has radically changed the situation which produced the lecturer of antiquity. And yet—preposterous anomaly!—the lecturer survives and even flourishes. In all the universities of Europe [author: and the U.S.] his voice still drones and brays just as it droned and brayed in the days of Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas. Lecturers are as much an anachronism as bad drains or tallow candles; it is high time they were got rid of.”

Dr. Chace tells me this comes from Huxley’s Proper Studies (Garden city, NY: Doubleday, doran, 1927), 169-70.

Talk amongst yourselves. – TL


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