Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Losing Paradise ?

I think I have found an example of sensationalist reporting in the Guardian. I am not sure, but this report seems to be telling us that texts by the likes of T.S.Eliot and E.M.Forster will be replaced in the A-level English curriculum by the autobiographies of Billie Piper and Sharon Osbourne.

The Telegraph put salacious articles on their Page Three which are called something like "Cornflake Spitters" for the titillation of Retired Colonels.

With the Guardian it's articles like "Exam board takes cue from Richard and Judy" on page 5 and they would be more aptly called "Muesli Crunchers".

I assume that the truth is a little less worrying than my, admittedly, exagerrated summary of the Guardian's article. It would be a great shame to completely exclude either T.S.Eliot or E.M.Forster. "Paradise Lost" is so thick with allusions and beautiful writing that it is a rite of passage to study it. "Passage to India" is one of the most beutiful novels in the English language. But both of those works are the kind of thing you have to be forced to read!

And indeed, reading the BBC's more measured report of this item, the Exam board specifically says:

There is no definitive list of what's in and what's out. But texts clearly need to be of sufficient substance for study at A-level and need to meet the requirements of the specification to allow students to fulfil their potential.

Oh well then, Sharon Osbourne's auto-biog is a natch for that description.

No comments:

Post a Comment