And that's the point: that the study of literature in the contemporary classroom is, perhaps, even more relevant today than it has ever been.
So, back in September when the Secret Teacher posted that the Alan Bennett monologue A Cream Cracker under the Settee was to be replaced in the curriculum by an episode of Waterloo Road, it's not unimaginable that English teachers stood poised, quills aloft, ready to defend the body of work that has shaped the modern world, to the death. Well, to the staffroom and the discussion forums at least.
One of the reasons cited for this usurping of a great British classic, in favour of a younger model, was that students just couldn't engage with the subject matter. Are they even called cream crackers these days? At a time when the common aim of those in education, certainly the majority of us, is to prepare pupils for a world that evolves at the speed of fibre-optics, the role of literature and its importance in equipping our pupils for the future has never been more apt.
But just what are the benefits to teaching literature to the young 'uns these days?
Full story at The Guardian