Professor Belinda Jack presents a series of lectures at Gresham College, where she is professor of rhetoric, at this link. Professor Jack is a French scholar, and illustrates her lecture on reading with a splendid film clip from Marcel Pagnol, in which we see the young child moving from decoding phonics to reading between the words or lines, and with neuroscience, which she treats with due circumspection, while using what it can tell us. For example, it seems that an original phrase stimulates more brain reaction than a cliché. Professor Jack understands the importance of taking nothing for granted - for example, I didn't know the origin of cliché, and, if you don't know either, I'll leave you to enjoy Professor Jack's lecture, and finish with a quotation from Alan Bennett on HM's introduction to personal reading, and her response to a private secretary's suggestion that she rely on his briefing. "Briefing," said HM, " is terse. factual and to the point. Reading is untidy, discursive and perpetually inviting. Briefing closes down a subject. Reading opens it up."
Brilliant. And congratulations to Gresham College and the Museum of London for presenting the lecture so clearly, with a transcript and powerpoint. More to come - next lecture 28th January, and all on You Tube. The thinking person's television.