Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How To Read A Novel

In How To Read A Book, Adler and Van Doren offer the following advice on reading a novel carefully:

1. "[Compress] the reading of a good story into as short a time as feasible." (p. 218)

2. "Read...with total immersion...Let the characters into your mind and heart...Try as hard as you can to live in his world" (p. 218)

3. "[Grasp] the unity of the whole work" (p. 209) and "discover how that whole is constructed out of all its parts" (p. 210). (Try this form from Rafe Esquith's "Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire" p. 55: protagonist, antagonist, conflict, setting, plot, climax, denouement, theme.)

4. Say "what is good or bad about the book and why...[You] must objectify your reactions by pointing to those things in the book that caused them." (p. 214)


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