TO BETTER A BAD BARGAIN
There are at present many courses such as French 2, German A, la, and lb that are painfully dull and distasteful chiefly because of their elementary nature, but also as a result of the abridged text-books used. In the United States there has recently begun a movement to improve these educational editions for which the modern language department presents the most pertinent demands. As it is now, the books used create little but a dislike for foreign literature; whereas, if they were exchanged for complete editions, reading them would at least satisfy the curiosity of those who feel the need of a through investigation of their subjects.
If books in their entirely were substituted for the present garbled productions, the time spent in reading them would at least give the reader some idea of the abilities of the author. Instructors in these elementary courses have admitted that the texts now used destroy the structure of the original work and leave but a residue of words that serve for little more than a memory exercise.
In the place of these incomplete texts, presentable trade editions could be supplemented, so that although these courses might not be able to cover such a diversified field, they would not leave so much of an unfavorable impression on the minds of those who have read them. The instructors could supply the notes and the student would acquire an idea of what the literature of that particular nation is like. Since it is required for many to enter these courses it would be well to offer them an opportunity to acquire some literary knowledge if merely due to constant exposure.