This one gleaned from the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Friday Facts, which, though decidedly ideological, are often hysterical. It seems the American Council of Trustees and Alumni conducted a survey of 70 colleges, of which just 15 require their English majors – not their general student populations, mind you, but their English majors – to take at least one course on Shakespeare.
Again, I have to ask, Shakespeare? Really? Not Dreiser, Booth Tarkington, Sinclair Lewis or Upton Sinclair (Yes, I have a thing against early 20th-century American realism), but Shakespeare, the apogee of Western Culture and the English language. Now, the literary canon needed to be broken open and made more inclusive, but please tell me there is a place, an exalted place, for William Shakespeare in even a multi-cultural world.
Where have you gone Harold Bloom? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you?