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How Modern Is Too Modern?

As any high school English teacher can attest, the vast majority of today’s young people would prefer to read contemporary (read: modern) literature rather than the classical and traditional works we’re assigning. Regrettably, many of them would rather read The Hunger Games than The Iliad and Twilight rather than Romeo and Juliet. This is neither surprising nor new. But it’s a problem against which we as teachers must brush daily. So with that in mind our question of the week is this:

How modern is too modern?

Should classical educators spend time in the classroom studying contemporary literature? If so, what are some examples of modern books that should be discussed. And if not, where should the cutoff be?

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