How to read literature like an English Professor

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Ixtellor
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How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby Ixtellor » Thu May 28, 2009 7:31 pm UTC

This is a good book if there is anyone taking AP english courses or getting ready for college.
My wife (English Professor) gave it a read and said it was well done and informative.

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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby Spacemilk » Thu May 28, 2009 7:40 pm UTC

For some reason, when I read the title of this post, I thought you were asking how to read aloud and sound like an English professor. And for another completely inexplicable reason, my answer was going to be "In a British accent, with a pipe stuck in your mouth, while you sit on a soft armchair in a lamp-lit room." :?
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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby Bobofthedead » Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:13 pm UTC

Do not forget the leather patches on the elbows of the tweed jacket. Or, for that matter, the brandy or Scotch on the little table beside your chair.

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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby Mother Superior » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:54 am UTC

If you're a literature professor, it's exactly the same way, only you have to end reading by saying "Of course very influenced by the works of Homer."
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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby Ventanator » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:07 am UTC

Anything in a British accent with a pipe (gently puffing somke), a tweed jacket with patches on the elbows, and a glass of Scotch sound like an English prof...

Forget the book, buy the tobacco and booze.

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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby alitheiapsis » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:08 am UTC

I downloaded this (illegally :D) for my friend, who needed it for her English class. I was wondering about reading it. I like the premise, but I'm not sure if it's worth the time, since I had an excellent teacher for AP English Language last year. I'll probably read it since my AP English Literature teacher this year is terrible.

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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby Midnight » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:03 am UTC

Mother Superior wrote:If you're a literature professor, it's exactly the same way, only you have to end reading by saying "Of course very influenced by the works of Homer."


Or: "You can obviously see the hand James Joyce had in the dream sequence..."
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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby Shokk » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:56 pm UTC

Mother Superior wrote:If you're a literature professor, it's exactly the same way, only you have to end reading by saying "Of course very influenced by the works of Homer."

Even if you're reading works of Homer?
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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby thicknavyrain » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:02 pm UTC

Shokk wrote:
Mother Superior wrote:If you're a literature professor, it's exactly the same way, only you have to end reading by saying "Of course very influenced by the works of Homer."

Even if you're reading works of Homer?

Especially if you're reading the works of Homer!
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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby ponzerelli » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:04 pm UTC

My AP Lit class used it last year. I enjoyed it, there were definitely some funny parts and I did learn a few things from it. It's also a good list of literature to read. I went out and bought three or four of the ones I'd never heard of before and thoroughly enjoyed them all. He has a new book out now as well called How to Read a Novel Like a Professor. I bought it, but haven't read it yet.

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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby godonlyknows620 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:34 am UTC

Hmm, am I the only one who thought the book was slightly overrated?

The author did make some good points, but I feel like it could have been a lot shorter and still gotten the main point across.

Also I felt that a lot of the book went like this: a generally yields b except in cases of y or z.
At times I read it like that scene from Dead Poets Society where a student was reading aloud from that English textbook that graphed the greatness of poetry.

The one thing I did like was the recommendations that were offered throughout. Makes for a solid "to read" list. :D

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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby ponzerelli » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:21 am UTC

godonlyknows620 wrote:The author did make some good points, but I feel like it could have been a lot shorter and still gotten the main point across.


Definitely. Many of the chapters could of been shortened to bulleted lists with some exposition. There was a lot of repetition. I did like some of the anecdotes he used though.

godonlyknows620 wrote:The one thing I did like was the recommendations that were offered throughout. Makes for a solid "to read" list. :D


My thoughts exactly. I'm still working my way through it.

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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby pueben » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:58 am UTC

So which books were recommended? Would you mind posting it? (Unless it's an epic list.) Is it just stuff from the usual cannon, or are there some fresh suggestions?

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Re: How to read literature like an English Professor

Postby ponzerelli » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:36 pm UTC

pueben wrote:So which books were recommended? Would you mind posting it? (Unless it's an epic list.) Is it just stuff from the usual cannon, or are there some fresh suggestions?


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W.H. Auden, "Musėe des Beaux Arts", "In Praise of Limestone"
James Baldwin, "Sonny's Blues"
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
Beowulf
T. Coraghessan Boyle, Water Music, "The Overcoat II", World's End
Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac << Written in English despite the Title
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass
Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber, Nights at the Circus, Wise Children
Raymond Carver, "Cathedral"
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim
Robert Coover, "The Gingerbread House"
Hart Crane, The Bridge
Colin Dexter, The Remorseful Day
Charles Dickens, basically everything.
E.L. Doctorow Ragtime
Lawrence Durrell, The Alexandria Quartet (Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, Clea)
T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", The Waste Land
Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine
William Faulkner, The Sound and The Fury, As I Lay Dying, Absalom, Absalom!
Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones's Diary
Henry Fielding, Tom Jones
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, "Babylon Revisited"
Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier
E.M. Forster, A Room with a View, Howards End, A Passage to India
John Fowles, The Magus, The French Lieutenant's Woman
Robert Frost, "After Apple Picking", "The Woodpile", "Out, Out—", "Mowing", everything else he wrote
William H. Gass, "The Pedersen Kid", "In the Heart of the Heart of the Country"
Henry Green, Blindness, Living, Party Going, Loving
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
Thomas Hardy, "The Three Strangers", The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown", "The Man of Adamant", The Scarlet Letter, The House of Seven Gables
Seamus Heaney, "Bogland", "Clearances", North
Ernest Hemingway, In Our time, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, The Old Man and the Sea
Homer
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
James Joyce, Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man
Franz Kafka, "The Metamorphosis", "A Hunger Artist", The Trial
Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, The Poisonwood Bible
D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, Lady Chatterly's Lover, The Birgin and the Gypsy
Sir Thomas Malory Le Morte Darthur
Iris Murdoch, A Severed Head, The Unicorn, The Sea, the Sea, The Green Knight
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
Tim O'Brien, Going After Cacciato, The Things They Carried
Edgar Allan Poe, basically everything
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
Theodore Roethke, "In Praise of Prairie", The Far Field
William Shakespeare, EVERYTHING
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sophocles, EVERYTHING
Sir Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queen
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Master of Ballantrae
Bram Stoker, Dracula
Dylan Thomas, "Fern Hill"
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Anne Tyler, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, The Accidental Tourist
John Updike, "A&P"
Derek Walcott, Omeros
Fay Weldon, The Hearts and Lives of Men
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
William Butler Yeats, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree", "Easter 1916", "The Wild Swans at Coole"


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