Annie's Reviews > How to Read Literature Like a Professor

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
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's review
Aug 10, 2010

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bookshelves: non-fiction
Recommended to Annie by: Catherine

My Goodreads reviews may just get a bit lengthier, after finishing this book, I may be able to provide more insight into the literary works I read. Collective sigh from all my friends. This book reads like you are sitting in on a class with the author, who is a professor of literature at the University of Michigan. His writing style is very conversational. He argues that there is no such thing as a wholly original work of literature. He also asks readers not to read with their own eyes, but read through the eyes of the characters in the work at that particular time. This book focuses on the common themes in literature, and he covers a wide swath of topics: symbolism, irony, poetry, baptism, flying, the importance of seasons, the weather, violence, sex, location, and illness. He cites examples from literary works to back up his well-made points. He also includes a short story near the end, followed by some interpretations to help the readers practice finding the topics they have just read about. The author also includes a reading list at the end of the book. Overall, I feel like I learned something, so it was a worthwhile read.

Favorite Quotes:
We bring an individual history to our readings, a mix of previous readings to be sure, but also a history that include, but is not limited to, educational attainment, gender, race, class, faith, social involvement, and philosophical inclination.

..what we feel in real life and what we feel in our reading lives can be quite different.
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