While I continue through some of the Great Books - Sir Thomas Malory's Morte D'Arthur at the moment - I admit frequent disheartening twinges. There are just too many. They are just too long. I have started too late. (But this way, I've heard, madness lies...)
I found an excellent article care of Arts & Letters this morning on the role of the Great Books fad in American Middlebrow Culture. I recognize this sort of status anxiety, but the writer of the article enables other middlebrow strivers who adhere to the American myth of betterment through self-education to feel known and vindicated.