“Why do we teach literature? What’s the point of studying history’s ‘stories?’ Most English teachers would acknowledge the focus of self discovery and character education in the novels we teach. In fact, the standard has long been to recognize literature as a ‘record of the human experience.’ We read to commiserate and learn and understand who we are on both an individual and global historical scale.
“That’s what makes Rod Dreher’s recent  piece for the Wall Street Journal so cool. Dreher, who is a columnist also known for his unique take on conservatism, offers a unique and surprising explanation of Dante’s Divine Comedy as a classic of self help – ‘The Ultimate Self Help Book: Dante’s Divine Comedy. It’s not just a classic of world literature; it’s the most astonishing self help book of all time.’ Dreher explains his own personal struggles and the coping mechanisms he picked up from Dante after browsing the classic in a bookstore.” [. . .] –Posted by mmazenko, “Literature as Self Help – The Life Lessons of Dante’s Divine Comedy,” A Teacher’s View, March 20, 2015