February 2, 2009 Listing
You've heard me say that when I ask for your reaction to a reading, I'm not interested in reading a summary of the content. What else is there to talk about?
Tone and form are two of many things we might look at in a literary passage. (I also want to spend some time talking briefly about common themes in American lit, which we didn't get to last time.)
We will also work in groups of four on a close reading assignment.
Comment on 2-4 peer blog entries for each assigned reading. Also, print out and bring a half-page reflection on each author. (Submit it as you come in.) Reflections are due every week that we have assigned readings.
Intro, Chapters 1-3
Read all poems in handout from last week's class. There's a separate slot for you to post your reaction to "After Apple Picking."
Use this slot to post your reactions to at least one of the other short poems that you looked at in groups.
A close reading is a careful, thorough, sustained examination of the words that make up a text.
A close reading uses short quotations (a few words or only one word) inside sentences that make an argument about the work itself (rather than an argument about your reactions, incidents in the author's life, or whether things today are different from or similar to the society depicted in the story).
In a close reading, a literary work is not so much a window to look through, nor is it a mirror to reflect yourself. Instead, you look closely at the language the author chose, in order to analyze what the author has accomplished.
Note: Close reading is always re-reading.
Groups for next week's exercise will be assigned.