||LITERATURE â€"ADULT EDUCATION 19 Many men could repeat with full faith what Hazlitt wrote to his son. Reading, he said, is perhaps the greatest pleasure you will have in life, the one you will think of longest, and repent of least. If my life had been more full of calamity than it has (much more than I hope yours will be) I would live it over again, my poor little boy, to have read the books I did in my youth. On these terms, literature is a good in itself; it is also â€" and I am not sure that there is really a difference between the two propositions â€" a means to other goods in its capacity to reveal and synthesize and act as catalyst to the mutations of truth. The argument may sound like special pleading; perhaps it is. But if I say these things because I teach literature, it is also true that I teach literature because I believe them. VI Academic people, it is said, have a weakness for making speeches full of pious platitude and noble resolution, and then going home warm with the glow of accomplishment â€" and nothing happens. I am not able to do much toward realizing the principles laid down here beyond trying to practice them in my classroom; I would, however, like to shape from these generalizations some steps toward a program operable in our own backyard, as well as at a safe distance. Whatever the merits of my argument, plainly time is of its essence. To quote Dean Wilson at the inauguration of President Olpin, "We can't wait for the citizens of tomorrow. The world must be saved by the citizens of today. Adult education can be no longer a casual function, but rather must become a central responsibility." 17 As a first step we could offer an adult general education curriculum in the interests of peace on a local, state, and perhaps a regional, basis. The Utah colleges have established an annual conference with a continuing commission. Why not use this machinery to set up a joint unified program in modern history, economics, and politics, perhaps coupled now or later with one in the humanities? That it would require interdepartmental and interinstitutional co-operation is one of its better features. Such a program might be extended through regional groups, but our first concern shculd be its working at home, and the one genuine problem is students. "It is as important, for practical purposes," Livingstone writes, "that education should be attractive as that it should be good .... Most human beings have a capacity for education, rather than a desire for it." Apart from the blandishments of publicity, I wonder if education itsei â€" a subject that "comes home to men's business and bosoms," taught in accessible and pleasant surroundings, without the side shows of fees, grades, and credits â€" might not do the trick. Or is this both idealistic avd naive? There would be questions of staff and finance, of course, bu; create an audience, and everything else becomes possible. In this first proposal, I hive been thinking of the near horizon, but for either, education's best aniwers must come from the adult field â€" and are still to seek. The vete-ans have taught us what we should al- 1T Inauguration of Albert Ray Olpin (Sat Lake City: University of Utah, 1948), p. 22. The address as a whole supports the view taken hire.