8 January 2013

Today we finished talking about Nabokov, Perrine and Agassiz.  We focused on these salient points:


  • Stay in the flashlight: (a) A good interpretation must account for ALL the details of the poem and be contradicted by none. (b) If multiple interpretations exist, the best is the most economical (relies on the fewest assumptions outside the text).

Nabokov – Inductive Reasoning

  • Avoid emotional/personal/historical identification – makes it difficult to see what the AUTHOR is doing.
  • Fondle the details – they hold the meaning of the text.

Nabokov – Other points

  • Re-reading is the only way TO read.
  • Maintain a balance between emotion and science: he calls this “artistic delight” or reading with the “tingling spine” rather than the head or heart.


  • Keep re-reading.  Again. And again.  And again.
  • Only need two tools: your eyes and your pencil.


Then I introduced the Dystopia Packet.  I asked you to re-imagine Antigone as a dystopia rather than a tragedy.  This is on page 4 of your packet.

Finally, for tomorrow, please read “Harrison Burgeron” and do journal prompts as assigned on the calendar in your packet (page 2).

Lastly, we are in the thick of journal interviews.  In case you’re missing any of the documents to help you prepare, here they are again:

  • Sample Journal Interview Transcript – note that (1) the entire yellow highlighted section is ONE ANSWER.  So later, in green, when it says “another answer, equally as thorough,” I mean another answer of that length and (2) The student spends a considerable amount of time actually reading from the journal.


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