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Reading literature at advanced level
 

Reading literature at advanced level

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A PPT I use when starting my AS Literature course inspired by the book 'How to read literature like a professor' by T. Foster.

A PPT I use when starting my AS Literature course inspired by the book 'How to read literature like a professor' by T. Foster.

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    Reading literature at advanced level Reading literature at advanced level Presentation Transcript

    • Reading Literature at Advanced Level
    • Literature has a ‘grammar’ – a set of conventions, patterns and codes.Part of skilful reading is to come to recognise and anticipate the results of this ‘grammar’.
    • There are conventions of...
      Plot
      Character
      Theme
      Narrative perspective
      Setting
      Order & sequence
      Genre
      ...and plenty more!
    • So how do you come to recognise the grammar of literature?
    • Read more than you watch TV!
    • Learn to read on 2 levels
      The Affective
      The Constructive
    • Some shortcuts to help you along the way...
    • Every trip is a quest...except when it’s not
    • Whenever characters eat, a form of communion is taking place
    • You don’t need fangs to be a vampire and ghosts don’t have to be dead
    • Form matters
    • Two gazed into a pool, he gazed and she,Not hand in hand, yet heart in heart, I think,Pale and reluctant on the water's brink,As on the brink of parting which must be.Each eyed the other's aspect, she and he,Each felt one hungering heart leap up and sink,Each tasted bitterness which both must drink,There on the brink of life's dividing sea.Lilies upon the surface, deep belowTwo wistful faces craving each for each,Resolute and reluctant without speech: — A sudden ripple made the faces flowOne moment joined, to vanish out of reach:So those hearts joined, and ah! were parted so.
    • Two gazed into a pool, he gazed and she,Not hand in hand, yet heart in heart, I think,Pale and reluctant on the water's brink,As on the brink of parting which must be.Each eyed the other's aspect, she and he,Each felt one hungering heart leap up and sink,Each tasted bitterness which both must drink,There on the brink of life's dividing sea.Lilies upon the surface, deep belowTwo wistful faces craving each for each,Resolute and reluctant without speech: — A sudden ripple made the faces flowOne moment joined, to vanish out of reach:So those hearts joined, and ah! were parted so.
    • There is no such thing as a wholly original text...
    • in fact there is only one story manifesting in multiple and varied forms which share a networked resonance!
    • There is always a dialogue going on between the old and the new and the entanglement can enrich our appreciation of both.
    • We can’t avoid interacting with this field of historical influence – even avoidance is a form of interaction!
    • Writers on the one hand pay homage to the ur-story and at the same time engage in a kind of amnesia in order to find their own voice
    • It’s never just rain...
    • Violence can be literal, symbolic, historic and mythic at the same time!
    • Symbols are not fixed – meaning is negotiated
    • We tend to give writers all the credit but reading is also an event o the imagination – the study of literature is the act of one creative intelligence meeting others across time and space.
    • It’s all political
      “I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.” “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.” “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
    • Flight is always about freedom...unless it isn’t
    • It’s all about sex...
    • Caveat – it’s all about sex except sex!
    • “She achingly stroked his quivering coastal temple of longing and rode the waves of their desire into the harbour of bliss.”
    • Love
      Sacrifice
      Pleasure
      Submission
      Domination
      Rebellion
      Connection
    • Have you noticed yet that the words ‘always’ and ‘never’ have little place in advanced literary studies?!
    • Geography matters
      We inhabit spaces and those spaces, in turn, inhabit us.
    • Seasons matter
      That time of year thou mayst in me behold
      When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
      Upon those boughs which shake against the cold:
      Bare, ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
      Sonnet 73
    • Scars, wounds and physical imperfections are always symbolic
    • Blindness is never accidental – disability isn’t a necessity in the literary world
    • The Garden PartyKatherine Mansfield