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Nov 20, 2021

What Makes a Book "Great"?

What Makes a Book "Great"?

Fr. Francisco Nahoe and Sarah Barnette

Sarah Barnette, a scholar of Victorian literature, speaks with Fr. Francisco Nahoe on great books and the pleasure of reading. Fr. Francisco, a Roman Catholic priest and Franciscan friar, is a scholar of Renaissance literature currently teaching courses in rhetoric and philosophy at Zaytuna College. The writers Barnette reads, such as the Brontë sisters, were inspired by Renaissance works like those Fr. Francisco reads—works Barnette is less familiar with. She wonders, and asks as much of Fr. Francisco, what might be missing in her understanding of Victorian texts without a fuller grasp of the works that helped to birth that era. The two discuss what makes great books great, the joy of reading, and the “unruly and intimidating” lineage of great literature.