How to Read Literature Like A Professor

How to Read Literature Like A Professor

A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines

Book - 2014 | Revised edition
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What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey? Shares a meal? Get drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface -- a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character - and there's that sneaking suspicion that the deeper meaning of a literary text keeps escaping you. In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest a shared meal may signify a communion and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.
Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial, 2014
Edition: Revised edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780062301673
Branch Call Number: 808 Fost 2014
Characteristics: xxx, 336 pages ; 21 cm
Contents: Introduction: how'd he do that?
Every trip is a quest (except when it's not)
Nice to eat with you: acts of communion
Nice to eat you: acts of vampires
Now, where have I seen her before?
When in doubt, it's from Shakespeare
Or the Bible
Hanseldee and Greteldum
It's Greek to me
It's more than just rain or snow
Never stand next to the hero
Interlude: does he mean that?
More than it's gonna hurt you: concerning violence
Is that a symbol?
It's all political
Yes, she's a Christ figure, too
Flights of fancy
It's all about sex
Except sex
If she comes up, it's Baptism
Geography matters
So does season
Interlude: one story
Marked for greatness
He's blind for a reason, you know
It's never just heart disease and rarely just illness
Don't read with your eyes
It's my symbol and I'll cry if I want to
Is he serious? and other ironies
A test case
Postlude: who's in charge here?


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Jun 21, 2016

It was a very informative book!

Jul 20, 2014

Foster is very condescending. He talks down to his audience. I did not learn anything I did not already know from this book. The title says "entertaining guide", but of the numerous literary analysis guides I have read, this is the worst. I am sorry to all students who have to read this. My advice is to get through it as quickly as possible.

Jul 24, 2012

Although it was entertaining, it could only be considered a mere introduction to reading with a critical eye and drawing connections in a multidisciplinary fashion. At certain points, the tone veered from comical to condescending, but otherwise, I found it to be quite an entertaining read, albeit not all that educational. If you're looking for in-depth information, this book isn't for you, but just an interesting book about introducing the concepts of symbolism and the journey to newcomers to the idea of critical thinking and reading as one, then this book may just do the trick.

Sep 02, 2011

An entertaining read. And I learned a lot.

feedtheflameforfacts Aug 01, 2011

I greatly enjoy reading and analyzing books. I was required to read this for my AP Literature and Composition class(I was previously in AP Language and Composition), and I disliked it all the way through. Foster constantly pushes his words into your mouth and does not allow any differences in opinion. After a few chapters his tone and style got very old, as well as the great amount of overwhelming examples. Although some of his points will remain with me while I read other books, many were very dull and repetitive.

Nov 02, 2010

This is a terrific book for literature students in high school and college--also a great book for creative writers who want to try new themes and hone their skills.


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Jul 20, 2014

Sexual Content: The author seems to be obsessed with sex from literature.

Jul 24, 2012

Sexual Content: Explains the link between vampirism and sexuality, as well as explaining the true meaning behind writing scenes of an erotic nature.

Jul 24, 2012

Other: Descriptions of diseases, like pox and tuberculosis.


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Jul 24, 2012

britprincess1 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 20


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Jul 24, 2012

An introductory look at common symbols, the hero's journey, and many other devices easily spotted when delving into literary criticism.


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