6 October 2010

Today we worked through the themes from OMM a little bit–you did a lovely job, btw.

Then I asked you to work in pairs to comb through Foster and identify

  • Skills, lenses, approaches he advocates in reading
  • Questions he thinks we should ask while reading
  • Tools/ideas he offers for reading effectively

Then we started compiling them as a class.  From memory, we came up with

  1. Why did the author do that?  S/he didn’t have to do anything.  Why THAT?
  2. Why this type of violence and not another type?
  3. The Indiana Jones principle
  4. The resonance test for allusions, specifically biblical allusions
  5. If someone is “marked” it’s b/c that person is (a) prophet (b) fated in some way (c) has had or expressed a moral failure
  6. Read while maintaining emotional detachment from the character
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. ?

(I tried, but it’s late and I want to go snuggle into my covers.  I’ll fill in the blanks from our overhead tomorrow).

In the meantime, I asked you to please go back through your journal and make 5-7 “left side” notes on your work.  These notes should be based on Foster.  E.g.

  • In this paragraph, I just keep talking about Lennie and that dead mouse and how weird I thought it was.  had no idea about the Indiana Jones principle.  If I had, then I probably would have realized that Steinbeck is setting up something significant about Lennie and “petting” creatures–something that becomes significant later on when Lennie pets his puppy and Curley’s wife to death.
  • I had just read the communion chapter, so I went back and wrote some more about Lennie and George eating beans in the garden chewing “mightily.”  I think I did a good job of using the “communion” lens and applying it to the scene of truest communion between George and Lennie.
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