My overriding thought while reading Paula Marantz Cohen's essay, "The Seduction" (Winter 2011), was simple: I wish I had had a professor like her in college, even once!
I loved reading from my earliest days, but the dreadfully boring and overanalytical literature classes I took in college, requiring voluminous amounts of reading, nearly made me a lifelong nonreader. It seemed to me that the teachers were trying to make us hate what we were assigned to read. Even if you love something, being forced to consume it is not going to make you a lifelong fan. Nonetheless, I "overcame" and have continued to this day (at 50 years old) to be a voracious reader. I'm sure I'm not alone; Cohen's article should be required reading for all literature professors worldwide.
ANDREW B. SIMMONS
Congratulations to Paula Marantz Cohen for adjusting her teaching approach to meet the needs of her students, even at the risk of being criticized by her colleagues for resorting to mere high school methods. Her decision to be more selective in course requirements, to work along with students in close-reading exercises, and even to reach outside the prescribed syllabus when another reading selection becomes relevant to discussion, honors the fact that students...