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Well Said, Ms. Costello, Well Said

Saturday, October 6, 2007
An exchange from J.M. Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello in which a professor censures Costello's sister for criticizing contemporary studies in the humanities:

"'This is a secular age,'" replies Godwin. 'You cannot turn back the clock. You cannot condemn an institution for moving with the times.'

'By an institution you mean the university?'

'Yes, universities, but specifically faculties of the humanities, which remain the core of any university.'

The humanities the core of the university. She may be an outsider, but if she were asked to name the core of the university today, its core discipline, she would say it was moneymaking. That is how it looks from Melbourne, Victoria; and she would not be surprised if the same were the case in Johannesburg, South Africa."

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