I am recalled to the challenges of teaching literature when I see this (really sort of sublime) article from the Onion: Nation Shudders at Large Block of Uninterrupted Text.
Dumbfounded citizens from Maine to California gazed helplessly at the frightening chunk of print, unsure of what to do next. Without an illustration, chart, or embedded YouTube video to ease them in, millions were frozen in place, terrified by the sight of one long, unbroken string of English words.
Yes, I know that apocalyptic vision well. It is what the view looks like from the front of my first-year "Introduction to Literature" class.
"It demands so much of my time and concentration," said Chicago resident Dale Huza, who was confronted by the confusing mound of words early Monday afternoon. "This large block of text, it expects me to figure everything out on my own, and I hate it."
Curse that block of text! So demanding.
Hmm. I wonder what would happen if I handed this out on the first day of my "Intro to Lit" class next year. No, really. I am seriously considering it.