Professor Philip Davis, Editor of The Reader magazine and Director of Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems (CRILS) at the University of Liverpool has a brand new book coming out this week as part of The Literary Agenda, a new series from Oxford University Press. Phil’s book Reading and the Reader defends the value of reading serious literature, aiming to narrow the gap between the way writers and readers think, and to bring literary thinking into the ordinary thinking of the world – especially at a time when the arts and humanities are under some threat.
The Literary Agenda as a whole explains why now, urgently, is the right time to start reinvigorated work into the meaning and value of reading literature. See below a summary of four areas of exploration that are central to the work of The Literary Agenda:
- Asks what is the point of literature in contemporary life.
- Looks at the importance of reading and creative literary-based thinking in the wider world.
- Addresses the state of literary education inside schools and universities.
- Encourages a bold variety of personal approaches and individual voices, speaking across different countries, disciplines and temperaments.
Today literary work is being challenged as a way of thinking about contemporary life. Many fear that it has become side-lined by newer disciplines such as cultural and media studies, while others view its failure to attract national funding in competition with more apparently ‘useful’ subjects as the beginning of the end. Equally, the rise of instant social media and new digital technologies provokes the question that arises on every side: What is the point in poetry, plays, novels, in literary criticism and, above all, slow serious and deep reading. These fascinating and very important issues are further addressed within The Literary Agenda.
Interested in finding out more? You can purchase Phil’s book, Reading and the Reader, which is out now, by simply visiting the Oxford University Press website via this link and pursue your curiosity.