Department of applied literature

A sort of high-end storefront secular church emerges in London.

London’s new School of Life, based in a Merchant Street storefront, offers courses on “the five central themes of our lives—work, play, family, politics and love.” The school’s courses treat the classics (like Shakespeare’s sonnets or Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina) as works with practical, not just academic, value. It’s a refreshing approach. “Real” college literature and philosophy courses are often too distracted with their cerebral exercises (”deconstructing the narrative,” or whatever) to consider whether these works of genius might have actual applications in everyday life.

from “The School of Life,” by Andrew Price, GOOD, 29 September 2008

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