I offloaded some well-thumbed books on my local British Heart Foundation outlet recently, and the volunteers' relief that there wasn't a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey amongst my offerings was palpable. Charity shops in every corner of the realm are being inundated by used copies of E. L. James's spank-fest, it seems.
We must ask ourselves what we are trying to achieve by educating in the arts. Are we growing recital-bots, who store Western culture's greatest hits on some internal Dictaphone, to be replayed on request at interviews and after-dinner appearances? Probably. But no culture swot is complete without a Fellini to his Flaubert. He just doesn't know it yet.