“It was a bit risky,” he answers. “I had to make sure that my students read El Cid. But the boys did not like it. They wanted to read Garcia Lorca. Then I decided that they would study El Cid at home and that in class I would teach the authors the boys liked the most. Of course, young people wanted to read more ‘racy’ literary works, like the contemporary La Casada Infiel or classics like La Celestina, by Fernando de Rojas. But by reading these things they acquired a taste in literature, poetry, and we went on to other authors. And that was for me a great experience. I completed the program, but in an unstructured way—that is, not ordered according to what we expected in the beginning, but in an order that came naturally by reading these authors. And this mode befitted me: I did not like to have a rigid schedule, but rather I liked to know where we had to go with the readings, with a rough sense of where we were headed."Like many (most?) Jesuits, Pope Francis taught prior to his ordination as a priest; in 1964 and 1965, he taught literature and psychology at the Colegio de la Inmaculada and at the Colegio del Salvador.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Did you know the Pope had been a literature teacher?
His interview (published in English in America magazine) is going to make headlines for other reasons, but I liked the reflection of Pope Francis on teaching literature: