Sunday, February 8, 2009

On the Close Reading Assignment

Words of wisdom, general and particular, from the sapient Garrett Peck, MA, re. the Close Reading assignment. Like all high wisdom, it uses a paradox to give an important practical truth.
"....most people doing interpretive work in literature proceed from precisely the wrong point of inception. It seems to me that when doing an analysis of a text...[many people] begin from a point of total clarity. This is not surprising, as it a position of security and cohesion, but it all to often means that....[many people do] a lot of work to offer an interpretation that is apparent to most other readers.... [Instead, they should rather be] approaching the point in the text....[found] most difficult, and...linger there until it a way that coheres with the other aspects they are already confident in their understanding of. In doing this....[they are] far more likely to produce a piece of analysis that is fresh, insightful and not readily apparent to the average reader. Of course, this is a far more difficult thing....but then that is really the point, isn't it?"

No comments:

Post a Comment