Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Book Review: Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your ChildTen Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Own.

Miracle of miracles.  I finally finished this book - it has taken more than a year.  It's very good, well written, but perhaps a little too smart for me.  Plus, it was a book-club book.  I'm bad at those.  And, I keep getting distracted while it gets buried.

I found this book both encouraging and terrifying.  I both do and don't do a lot of things Esolen recommends.  That's a tricky sentence to compose because he's supposed to be writing from a position of destroying your child's imagination, but even he occasionally seems to lose the side he's arguing for (or against).  I'm trying to say that I both preserve and destroy the imagination of my children ... and I think that to some extent - even without the modernists - all people do and have so done.

A call to careful, intentional, wise parenting and educating of a child? Yes.  But more than that an indictment of man's sinfulness in all generations.  I think Esolen finally makes it clear that it isn't nostalgia for his own childhood that he finds perfect, but that even Dante recognized materialism and power-hunger as dangers in his day.  That even Cain and Abel dealt with the issue at hand in this book. 

Man (and I use that as an inclusive term, the old way), man is something more than the animals and nature.  Man is "a little lower than the angels" and in order to keep him from being deprived of his position, we must do those things which dehumanize him and bring him to conformity.  This conformity contrasts with the God-ordained freedom man was given in the beginning.

Many things to consider here.  I encourage you to spend some time.




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