Gardner HTRLLAP - Assignment #1 - How to Read Literature...

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How to Read Literature Like a Professor - Assignment #1 Reading Response Questions #1-7 1. Describe what Foster means by a “language of reading” (p. xxv). Describe how memory, symbol, and pattern are important for a “language of reading.” Describe “symbolic imagination” (p. xxviii) and how it is significant for a “language of reading.” How do your responses to these questions align with some of the ideas you wrote about pre-reading question #1? Foster’s “language of reading” is a certain set of codes and rules that we learn to use over time when we analyze writing. Symbolic imagination is the ability to be able to read between the lines and understand the many underlying layers of characters, plot, and other aspects of the story. This is an important ability to use for your language of reading, as it helps us to go deeper into the meaning of the story and better understand literature when we read it. Symbolic imagination makes our “language of reading” a better tool to utilize. 2. Foster writes, “There’s no such thing as a wholly original work of literature” (p. 24) and “there’s only one story” (p. 27). Describe what Foster means by these statements. To what extent do you agree or disagree with these statements? Provide textual evidence from chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 to support your claims. When Foster says “there’s only one story”, he means that every story is similar in some way. Virtually everything is copied from somewhere else, and it can be intentional or unintentional. I agree with these statements. Every piece of literature I have ever read does not sound 100% original, and I can think of similarities between each of the books. Foster claims, “You can’t create stories in a vacuum. Instead the mind flashes bits and pieces of childhood experiences, past reading, every movie the writer/creator has ever seen, last week’s argument with a phone solicitor–in short, everything that lurks in the recesses of the mind”. When one has read books, it is hard to not let your subconscious weave the plots into your own story.

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