Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Thomas Doubting from Grim's Hall sent this along three years ago and I ran across it again today. 

It put me in mind of  How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard, which I wrote about a year or two ago. 


RichardJohnson said...

It put me in mind of How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard

I am reminded of the academic who engaged in a extended discussion about a book which he hadn't actually read. He had read a review of the book, which gave him enough information to discuss the book. It turns out this was not out of character. In his memoir, the academic wrote how he got through his Ivy League grad school. The department gave doctoral students an extensive list of books that they should read in order to pass their prelims. The doctoral students decided the list was too large, and decided to divvy up the books. No student read all the books. Each student read a limited number of the books, and wrote up a detailed summary of the books he read to be shared with the other students.

Based on reading the book summaries- not the books- the group of doctoral students passed their prelims. I don't know if this was a custom passed down year by year at this university, or if it was a one-year affair. The academic went on to a successful career with an extensive list of publications.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Bayard's book starts with examples like that and extends further. You will love it.

Thomas Doubting said...

You've been blogging up a storm over here; I've been missing out.

And thanks for recommending Bayard's book! That looks like fun.