15 November 2010–Eng 10H

After silent reading today, we’re going to move on to look at some new critical reading essays: Nabokov’s Good Readers, Good Writers and Perrine’s The Nature of Proof in the Interpretation of Poetry.

Fair warning that

  • Perrine is the guy on whom the “bad essay” at the beginning of the poetry textbook in Dead Poet’s Society is based.
  • I expect us to apply Perrine to more than just poetry, though he himself is focused on poetry specifically, his approach has merit in reading prose as well.
  • You’ll probably feel a little defensive as you read these essays.  Notice the defensiveness in yourself, but try to work past it to see what these guys have to say.

Remember, too, that these writers are offering us a lens on ONE TYPE of reading: critical reading.  That doesn’t mean that all your reading needs to do these things…there is leisure reading and pleasure reading and “brain candy” and research, and all other kinds of reading possible.  This is one approach, one useful tool in our work.  Okay?

We will read Nabokov together in class and list out the “skills” he’s advocating.  Then I’ll ask you to read Perrine on your own.  Using the journal prompts I’ve given you, write out your thinking about the two essays in your journal.

Tomorrow is a writing day and I’ll pass out Task 3 in the lab.


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