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Introduction to Close Reading
Transcript of Introduction to Close Reading
Mary Jane Davis
Why we close read in literature courses
Language as an artistic medium.
Close Reading IRL
If language is simply a way for us to convey information, does it really matter HOW someone chooses to say something?
Non-literary close reading: body language/facial expressions, tone, diction, punctuation/pauses.
-ex. conversation, text messages/email, etc.
Keep in mind: How does "literary" writing work differently? What remains the same?
Effective Ways to Begin
Close reading = not
reading for information
... More like analyzing brush strokes/negative space painting or thinking about why a play is staged the way it is in a particular production.
Find your annotation style. Maybe you're a Melville. Or a Foster Wallace.Or an Updike.
A Note on Annotations
What is "close reading"?
parts of speech,
What are some other elements of the text you might consider?
FORM // CONTENT or HOW? // WHAT?
Identify --> analyze/interpret --> synthesize
Essay = a cluster of close readings tied together with a cohesive, interesting, and interpretive argument about how they work together in the text
"Here is forcibly shown the great Montaignism of Hamlet." (Herman Melville)
"Too much throwing up." (John Updike)