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KarenG

Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold

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I'm just getting started. I read a bit from an e-text, and then ordered a physical copy. The thing that caught my attention in the first place is his discussion of "hebraism" and "hellenism"--a slightly different take on the modern "Greek vs. Hebrew" discussion. But there's a lot more to it than that.

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The more you read Charlotte Mason, the better you understand Charlotte Mason. However, the more you read other authors, the better you understand Charlotte Mason, too. I'm still reading very slowly through this book, but the first essay is called "Sweetness and Light." It appears that he borrowed the title from Jonathan Swift, who calls "sweetness and light" the two noblest things, based on some ideas from the Greeks (I just skimmed that part because I haven't gotten that far yet, so I'm still a little uncertain about it). Anyway, I was reading in CM's Philosophy of Education this week, and ran across this reference:

"The young people are for four years (a proper academic period) to be under influences that make for 'sweetness and light.'"

Now, when CM uses quotation marks like that, she is quoting, always. She rarely cites, however, and there is no citation. So, now I'm going to wonder forever if she is quoting Matthew Arnold (one of her mentors, so to speak) or Jonathan Swift???

Regardless, "sweetness and light" should be understood as representing the ideals of a liberal education.

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