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How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A…
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How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide… (original 2014; edition 2003)

by Thomas C. Foster

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2,851722,917 (3.88)136
Member:occupymuskegon
Title:How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines
Authors:Thomas C. Foster
Info:Harper Paperbacks (2003), Edition: 1, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Ex Libris David G. Nye

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How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines by Thomas C. Foster (2014)

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» See also 136 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
I remember when this book came out and was quickly put on summer reading lists everywhere. It was initially a book that I saw most often on college readings lists (for classes like Comp 101 and so forth) and then I started seeing it on high school reading lists. It offers up some really great advice and tips to "reading between the lines" when reading literature - analysis, symbolism, and so forth. It's not super boring but could be read in bits and pieces just to help you along on your own analytical reading abilities.
1 vote justagirlwithabook | Aug 2, 2018 |
As advertised- an extremely well-presented and interesting exploration of symbolism, allusion and thematic tropes that will illuminate any reader's experience of literature. Should be mandatory reading for all English majors, but would also appeal to anyone looking to fully experience the nuances that many would miss without Fosters humorous advice. ( )
1 vote jnmegan | Jul 31, 2018 |
This book is recommended reading for AP Lit teachers everywhere. It is also recommended for their students. Having taught the courses, I would find a few chapters useful. The intro is good for its discussion of memory, symbol and pattern. His chapters on Shakespearean and Biblical allusion are a good intro for students who may not have had much exposure to either, but are expected to understand obscure references to both in encounters with other literature. There is also a great apologetic for students who always question if readers are reading too much into a text. I would use that, for sure. His chapters on myth, poetry, seasons and setting are too cursory. I've seen better material. Where the book fell short. He uses examples that most AP students or college Freshmen have still not read and therefore will not understand or find his discussions engaging. His conclusions also draw 98% from the Western canon, yet he claims there is only one story. I believe he should qualify that statement a bit more. One last thing, I fear that some students and/or teachers may use this book exclusively for developing a critical literary lens. That would be disastrous, as many of the archetypes, symbols and motifs he shares are often used to limit an interpretation of a text, leading to a false sense that there is a "correct" way of knowing what an author was trying to say. ( )
1 vote MsKathleen | Jan 29, 2018 |
I found this to be a nice refresher on symbolism in literature, and very readable as well. I particularly appreciated how the author encourages readers to use these tools as a starting point, follow what their own minds pick up on, and not to worry too much about the "real" meaning of what was written. If it's there for you to pick up on, it's there. I also added a bunch of books to my "to read" list, which was a tremendous bonus to me. ( )
1 vote duchessjlh | Jul 7, 2017 |
Do you remember when you were in English or literature in school and the teacher told you that a specific literary element was symbolic for what-have-you, and you wondered what part of the air the teacher pulled that from? If you did, this book can help you understand the deeper meaning behind literary elements. For example, if the protagonist is going on a journey this may mean that he or she is going on a quest of self-discovery. What if the protagonist falls into the river and re-emerges? Could this be symbolic of new life and renewal? The author provides an entertaining analysis of symbols in various stories and their underlying meaning. Now that I have completed the book, I will never read another book without mining it for deeper meanings. ( )
1 vote John_Warner | Apr 19, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas C. Fosterprimary authorall editionscalculated
de Vries, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gubkin, Sarah MayaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, JarrodCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my sons, Robert and Nathan
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The amazing thing about books is how they have lives of their own.
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Mr. Lindner? That Milquetoast?
Okay, so here's the deal: let's say, purely hypothetically, you're reading a book about an average sixteen-year-old kid in the summer of 1968.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006000942X, Paperback)

What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey?. Shares a meal? Gets drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface—a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character—and there's that sneaking suspicion that the deeper meaning of a literary text keeps escaping you.

In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest; a shared meal may signify a communion; and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:15 -0400)

What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey?. Shares a meal? Gets drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface -- a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character - and there's that sneaking suspicion that the deeper meaning of a literary text keeps escaping you. In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest a shared meal may signify a communion and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.… (more)

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