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Open Secrets
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Open Secrets: Literature, Education, and Authority from J-J. Rousseau to J. M. Coetzee

Michael Bell


This book reflects on humanistic education by examining the limits of the teachable in this domain. The Goethean motif of the open secret is not a mystery revealed but an utterance not understood, the likely fate of all instruction based purely on authority. This study reviews the pedagogical relationship in the European Bildungsroman from the point of view of the mentor rather than that of the young hero, but it also extends beyond the novel to encompass works in which the category of fiction has a crucial and constitutive function, for a growing awareness of limited authority on the part of ... More

Keywords: open secret, authority, Bildung, Bildungsroman, mentor, pedagogy, aesthetic, humanistic education, Goethean, pedagogical

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780199208098
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208098.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael Bell, author
Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
Author Webpage