David Perell: Why Should You Read the Odyssey?: In Saving the Liberal Arts, I argued that college students are too young to study them. Even Plato said that people aren’t prepared to study the Liberal Arts until the age of 30. In Book VII of The Republic, he writes: “Let us take every possible care that young persons do not study philosophy too early.” In this interview, Daniel Mendelsohn explains why ancient stories like The Odyssey still have a practical benefit. “When your father dies, your accounting degree is not going to help you at all to process that experience. Homer will help you.” I also resonated with this comment: “The crude preoccupation with moneymaking as the only goal of a college education is giving us a citizenry that is extremely degraded, as far as I’m concerned. I think it’s only the crudest and least interesting practicality that has no time for the humanities.”

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