“More often than not, contextualization is just an easy way out. Rookie teachers spend too much time in Paradise Lost talking about John Milton because it is easier than talking about the book. Milton is the least interesting part of Paradise Lost, though, and that is because his poem is a complete success.
So try teaching a book the way it would have been taught five hundred years ago—before quizzes, before research libraries, before postmodernism reduced everything to a power play, before Marx reduced us all to economic automatons. Quit making the book about the author and make it about the truth instead.”
-from Against Context: Next Time Skip The Introduction, my latest for CiRCE