How to Read How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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How to Read How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

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  1. How to Read How to Read Literature Like a Professorby Thomas C. Foster A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines Review Chapters 15-20

  2. “Flights of Fancy”Chapter 15 • “I took just enough Physics in school to master one significant fact: human beings can’t fly” (133). “ […] soar into interpretation and speculation” (142)

  3. “Flights of Fancy”Chapter 15 • “…when we see a person suspended in the air, even briefly, he is one or more of the following: 1) a superhero 2) a ski jumper 3) crazy (redundant if also number 2) 4) fictional 5) a circus act, departing a cannon 6) suspended on wires 7) an angel 8) heavily symbolic” (134).

  4. “Flights of Fancy”Chapter 15 • “So what does it all mean when literary characters fly?” (135). • Freedom from something • Return to somewhere • Spiritual flight • “LOVE” • Wonder / Magic • “It’s really pretty straightforward: flight is freedom” (136).

  5. “Flights of Fancy”Chapter 15 • But don’t forget… • “…irony trumps everything.” (137)

  6. “It’s All About Sex…”Chapter 16 • “Blame it on Freud” (143).

  7. “It’s All About Sex…”Chapter 16 • “Suddenly we discover that sex doesn’t have to look like sex: other objects and activities can stand in…” (144).

  8. “It’s All About Sex…”Chapter 16 • “Oh yes, Freud taught us well. And some of those he taught are writers. Suddenly, as the twentieth century gets rolling, two things are happening. Critics and readers are learning that sexuality may be encoded in their reading, while writers are learning that they can encode sexuality into their writing” (144).

  9. “…Except Sex”Chapter 17 • “When they’re writing about other things, they really mean sex, and when they write about sex, they really mean something else. If they write about sex and mean strictly sex, we have a word for that. Pornography” (152). • “You just know that these scenes mean something more than what’s going on in them” (158).

  10. “If She Comes Up, It’s Baptism”Chapter 18 • “Have you even noticed how much literary characters get wet? Some drown, some merely get drenched, and some bob to the surface. What difference does it make?” (160) • “Consider, just for a moment, that a disconcertingly large number of writers met their ends in water” (161).

  11. “If She Comes Up, It’s Baptism”Chapter 18 • Rescued? • Rise and walk away • Grab on to something • Passivity • Good fortune • Indebtedness The Soggy Character…

  12. “If She Comes Up, It’s Baptism”Chapter 18 • Baptism=Death, rebirth, new identity • Literally • Spiritually • Drowning=death • Character revelation • Develop theme • Plot structure

  13. “Geography Matters…”Chapter 19 • Geography is hills, mountains, lakes, etc. • Geography in literature is more than PLACE • It includes economics, politics, history • “Literary geography is typically about humans inhabiting spaces, and at the same time the spaces that inhabit humans” (173-74).

  14. “Geography Matters…”Chapter 19 • “…when writers send characters south, it’s so they can run amok” (179).

  15. “Geography Matters…”Chapter 19 • “So, high or low, near or far, north or south, east or west, the places of poems and fiction really matter. It isn’t just setting, that hoary old English class topic. It’s place and space and shape that bring us to ideas and psychology and history and dynamism. It’s enough to make you read a map” (182).

  16. “So Does Season”Chapter 20 • For about as long as anyone’s been writing anything, the seasons have stood for the same set of meanings. Maybe it’s hardwired into us that spring has to do with childhood and youth, summer with adulthood and romance and fulfillment and passion, autumn with decline and middle ages and tiredness but also harvest, winter with old age, resentment and death” (186).

  17. “So Does Season”Chapter 20 • This pattern is so deeply ingrained in our cultural experience that we don’t even have to stop and think about it. Think about it we should, though, since once we know the pattern is in play, we can start looking at variance and nuance” (186).

  18. Literary Geography and Seasons Assignment Make a list of fiveways that the geography and/or the seasons impact a major character (All fivedo not have to involve the same major character) in your summer reading choice novel. Include specific page numbers for each item on your list. Write each in a full, complete sentence that EXPLAINS the way in which the geography/season impacts the character.