Saturday, June 02, 2007

Education Minister Giertych’s new school reading list

More Pope, less literature...

This is the latest great idea from the Roman Giertych Education Think Tank (which is about as subtle as a ‘tank’, but with very little ‘think’).

Giertych said yesterday on the radio that ‘teachers all around the country have sent in suggestions for what should be on compulsory reading lists for school students.' He said that more about John Paul II should be put on the list but…

Gombrowicz, Witkacy, Conrad, Kafka, Goethe, Dostoyevsky...

...should be taken off.

These are, of course, some of the most significant names in literature in the last century, or so.

The secretary of the late Witold Gombrowicz, Rita, for instance, told a newspaper this week that her former boss would have got the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1969, I think) if he had lived a little longer. Unfortunately he died that year and the prize went to …Samuel Beckett.

So if Gombrowicz is good enough for a Nobel Prize then why shouldn’t he be good enough for Polish school kids’ reading lists?

I am not sure that teachers all over Poland really have been writing in pleading for Gombrowicz et al to be – like gays – banned from Polish schools.

So what has Giertych himself got against these writers, one wonders?