Literature: An Introduction to Critical Reading / Edition 1 available in Hardcover
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- Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
|Publisher:||Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference|
|Product dimensions:||6.34(w) x 9.32(h) x 2.46(d)|
Table of Contents
I. CRITICAL READING.
2. The Importance of Critical Reading.
II. INTERPRETING SHORT FICTION.
4. Beginning with Close Reading.
III. CRITICAL APPROACHES TO SHORT FICTION.
Setting and Mood.
Character and Psychology.
Style and Theme.
Plot and Narrative Structure.
Point of View.
Irony and Tone.
How the Elements Work Together.
6. Reading Anton Chekhov in Depth.
“The Darling.” “Concerning Love.” “The Lady with the Little Dog.”
Resources for Reading Chekhov.
7. Reading Eudora Welty in Depth.
A Commentary on Welty's Career.
Resources for Reading Welty.
8. An Album of Stories.
Sarah Orne Jewett, “A White Heron.” James Joyce, “Araby.” Franz Kafka, “A Hunger Artist.” Mary Lavin, “Happiness.” David Wong Louie, “Pangs of Love.” D. H. Lawrence, “The Horse Dealer's Daughter.” Gabriel García Márquez, “Eyes of a Blue Dog.” Alice Munro, “The Moons of Jupiter.”
IV. INTERPRETING POETRY.
Lewis Carroll, “The Jabberwocky.”
John Masefield: “Cargoes.” W. S. Merwin: “Fly.” A Student Interpretation of Robert Frost's “Birches.” Freewriting on “Birches.” A Sample Interpretation. Further Strategies.
V. CRITICAL APPROACHES TO POETRY.
Rhythm and Rhyme.
Metaphor and Figurative Language.
Symbol and Allegory.
The Verse Epistle.
The Prose Poem.
Free Verse. 11. Style and Theme.
12. The Elements Working Together.
13. Reading John Keats in Depth.
Resources for Reading Keats.
14. Reading Robert Frost in Depth.
A Commentary on Frost's Career.
Resources for Reading Frost.
15. Sylvia Plath in Depth.
“Daddy.” “Ariel.” “The Elm.” “Metaphors.” “Mirror.” “Morning Song.” “Tulips.” “The Colossus.” “The Moon and the Yew Tree.” “Lady Lazarus.” “Paralytic.” “Mary's Song.”
Resources for Reading Plath.
16. An Album of Poems.
Diane Ackerman, “On Looking into Sylvia Plath's Copy of Goethe's Faust.” Diane Ackerman, “Letter to Wallace Stevens.” Diane Ackerman, “Anne Donne to Her Husband.” Bella Akhmadulina, “Volcanoes.” Agha Shahid Ali, “Homage to Faiz Ahmed Faiz.” Anonymous, “Sumer Is Icumen In.” W. H. Auden, “Musée des Beaux Arts.” W. H. Auden, “In Memory of W. B. Yeats.” Imamu Amiri Baraka, “In Memory of Radio.” Grace Bauer, “Eve Recollecting the Garden.” Elizabeth Bishop, “Poem.” William Blake, from Songs of Innocence “Introduction.” “The Chimney Sweeper.” “The Little Boy Lost.” “The Little Boy Found.” William Blake, from Songs of Experience “The Clod & the Pebble.” “The Chimney Sweeper.” “The Garden of Love.” “London.” Louise Bogan, “Medusa.” Louise Bogan, “Women.” Arna Bontemps, “A Black Man Talks of Reaping.” Anne Bradstreet, “To My Dear and Loving Husband.” Anne Bradstreet, “The Author to Her Book.” Anne Bradstreet, “In Memory of My Dear Grandchild.” Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Mother.” Gwendolyn Brooks, “We Real Cool.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “To George Sand a Desire.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “To George Sand A Recognition .” José Antonio Burciaga, “Berta Crocker's Bicentennial Recipe.” José Antonio Burciaga, “World Premiere.” Kathryn Stripling Byer, “Chestnut Flat Mine.” Juanita Casey, “Pegasus.” Lady Mary Chudleigh, “To the Ladies.” Amy Clampitt, “Beach Glass.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Kubla Khan.”
John Cotton, “Report Back.” Robert Creeley, “Ballad of the Despairing Husband.” e.e. cummings, “Buffalo Bill's Defunct.” e.e. cummings, “my sweet old etcetera.” Philip Dacey, “Jack, Afterwards.” Philip Dacey, “Jill, Afterwards.” Bernard Dadié, “In Memoriam,” from Africa Arise! Bernard Dadié, “I Thank You, Lord.” Carl Dennis, “Oedipus the King.” James Dickey, “On the Hill Below the Lighthouse.” Emily Dickinson, “Success Is Counted Sweetest.” Emily Dickinson, “I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed.” Emily Dickinson, “I Felt a Funeral/in My Brain.” Emily Dickinson, “After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling.” Emily Dickinson, .“I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died.” Emily Dickinson, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.” Emily Dickinson, “Tell All the Truth, But Tell It Slant.” Sheila Dietz, “Not Remembering More.” Birago Diop, “Viaticum.” John Donne, “The Flea.” John Donne, “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning.” John Donne, Holy Sonnet 14 “Batter My Heart Three-Personed God.” H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), “Heat.” H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), “Helen.” Rita Dove, “Used.” Gretel Ehrlich, “The Orchard.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Hamatreya.” Faiz Ahmed Faiz, “Before You Came.” Anne Finch, “A Song of the Cannibals.” Margaret Gibson, “Out in the Open.” Margaret Gibson, “Unborn Child Elegy.” Allen Ginsberg, “Howl.” Louise Glück, “Brown Circle.” Louise Glück, “Brooding Likeness.” Louise Glück, “Matins” (Forgive Me If I Say I Love You). Lorna Goodison, “My Last Poem.” Lorna Goodison, “Jamaica.” Lorna Goodison. “My Last Poem (Again).” George Gordon, Lord Byron, “Maid of Athens Ere We Part.” George Gordon, Lord Byron, “She Walks in Beauty.” Jorie Graham, “The Hiding Place.” Jorie Graham,
“History.” Thomas Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.” Linda Gregg, “Whole and without Blessing.” Marilyn Hacker, “Did You Love Well What Very Soon You Left.” Marilyn Hacker, “Sonnet Ending with a Film Subtitle.” Thomas Hardy, “The Darkling Thrush.” Joy Harjo, “Santa Fe.” ” Joy Harjo, “Nine Lives.” Michael Harper, “Last Affair: Bessie's Blues Song.” Seamus Heaney, “Punishment.” Seamus Heaney, “The Tollund Man.” George Herbert, “The Altar.” George Herbert, “Easter Wings.” Geoffrey Hill, “September Song.” Christine Holbo, “Gomorrah.” Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Windhover.” Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Pied Beauty.” Langston Hughes, “Harlem.” Langston Hughes, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” Langston Hughes, “The Weary Blues.” Langston Hughes, “Madam and the Rent Man.” Langston Hughes, “Theme for English B.” Ted Hughes, “Examination at the Womb Door.” Ted Hughes, “Crow's First Lesson.” Lynda Hull, “Midnight Reports.” T. R. Hummer, “The Rural Carrier Discovers That Love Is Everywhere.” T. R. Hummer, “The Rural Carrier Stops to Kill a Nine-foot Cottonmouth.” Elizabeth Jennings, “Fragment for the Dark.” Elizabeth Jennings, “The Child's Story.” June Jordan, “Letter to the Local Police.” Jenny Joseph, “Warning.” Donald Justice, “A Map of Love.” Brigit Pegeen Kelly, “Young Wife's Lament.” Dolores Kendrick, “Leah: in Freedom.” Rachel Korn, “Keep Hidden from Me.” Mazisi Kunene, “From the Ravages of Life We Create.” Mazisi Kunene, “Place of Dreams.” Mazisi Kunene, “The Political Prisoner.” Philip Larkin, “Faith Healing.” Philip Larkin, “Church Going.” Denise Levertov, “O Taste and See.” Denise Levertov, “Matins.” Jan Heller Levi, “Sex Is Not Important.” Amy Lowell, “Venus Transiens.” Robert Lowell, “Robert Frost. ” Wing Tek Lum, “At a Chinaman's Grave.” Wing Tek Lum, “Minority Poem.”
George Ella Lyon, “Salvation.” George Ella Lyon, “Progress.” Mekeel McBride, “If I'd Been Born in Tennessee.” Walter McDonald, “Father's Straight Razor.” Claude McKay, “The Harlem Dancer.” Naomi Long Madgett, “Midway.” Naomi Long Madgett, “The Race Question.” Christopher Marlowe, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.” Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress.” W. S. Merwin, “For a Coming Extinction.” Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Childhood Is the Kingdom Where Nobody Dies.” John Milton, “How Soon Hath Time…” John Milton, “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent…” John Milton, “I Thought I Saw My Late Espoused Saint.” Cheng Min, “Student.” N. Scott Momaday, “Comparatives.” Marianne Moore, “Poetry.” Larry Neal, “Ghost Poem #1.” Sharon Olds, “Things That Are Worse Than Death.” Sharon Olds, “The One Girl at the Boys Party.” Mary Oliver, “Some Questions You Might Ask.” Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day.” Simon Ortiz, “Juanita, Wife of Manuelito.” Wilfred Owen, “Dulce et Decorum Est.” Wilfred Owen, “Arms and the Boy.” Wilfred Owen, “Spring Offensive.” Dorothy Parker, “General Review of the Sex Situation.” Dorothy Parker, “Incurable.” Dorothy Parker, “Men.” Dorothy Parker, “Observation.” Dorothy Parker, “Symptom Recital.” Marge Piercy, “Secretary Chant.” Katha Pollitt, “Old Neighbors.” Katha Pollitt, “In Memory.” Alexander Pope, “Ode on Solitude.” Ezra Pound, “Ancient Music Winter Is Icummen In.” Ezra Pound, “The River-Merchant's Wife, A Letter.” Sir Walter Raleigh, “The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd.” Henry Reed, “The Naming of Parts.” Carter Revard, “What the Eagle Fan Says.” Adrienne Rich, “Trying to Talk with a Man.” Adrienne Rich, “Diving Into the Wreck.” Edward Arlington Robinson, “Richard Cory.” Theodore Roethke, “Elegy for Jane.” Theodore Roethke, “My Papa's Waltz.” Christina Rossetti, “Song.” Christina Rossetti, “Remember.” Christina Rossetti, “Echo.” Christina Rossetti, “In an Artist's Studio.” Muriel Rukeyser, “Myth.” Leopold Senghor, “Night of Sine.” Anne Sexton,“Red Riding Hood.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18 “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 30 “When to the Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 64 “When I Have seen by Time's Fell Band Defaced.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 106 “When in the Chronicle of Wasted Time.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116 “Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 129 “Th'expense of Spirit in a Waste of Shame.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 130 “My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 135 “Whoever Hath her Wish, thou Hast thy Will.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 144 “Two Loves I Have of Comfort and Despair.” Fily-Dabo Sissoko, “Brush Fire.” Charlotte Smith, “Pressed By the Moon, Mute Arbitress of Tides.” Stevie Smith, “The Galloping Cat.” Stevie Smith, “Scorpion.” Stevie Smith, “Away, Melancholy.” Gary Snyder, “Riprap.” Cathy Song, “The Youngest Daughter.” Marcia Southwick, “Owning a Dead Man.” Maura Stanton, “Childhood.” George Starbuck, “On First Looking in on Blodgett's Keats's Chapman's Homer.” Wallace Stevens, “The Emperor of Ice Cream.” Wallace Stevens, “The Idea of Order at Key West” Anne Stevenson, “Cain.” Anne Stevenson, “By the Boat House, Oxford.” Ruth Stone, “Where I Came From.” Mark Strand, “Where Are the Waters of Childhood?” Jonathan Swift, “The Progress of Beauty.” Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses.” Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Lady of Shalott.” Dylan Thomas, “Fern Hill.” Dylan Thomas, “Poem in October.” David Wagoner, “The Shooting of John Dillinger Outside the Biograph Theater, July 22, 1934.” Marilyn Nelson Waniek, “Emily Dickinson's Defunct.” Belle Waring, “What Hurts.” Belle Waring, “Children Must Have Manners.” John Weiners, “The Eagle Bar.” Walt Whitman, from “Song of Myself.” William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow.” William Carlos Williams, “Danse Russe.” Terence Winch, “The Meanest Gang in the Bronx.” Terence Winch, “Six Families of Puerto Ricans.” William Wordsworth, “The World Is Too Much with Us.” William Wordsworth, “Lines Composed above Tintern Abbey.” James Wright, “At the Executed Murderer's Grave.” William Butler Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium.” William Butler Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.”
VI. INTERPRETING DRAMA.
VII. CRITICAL APPROACHES TO DRAMA.
Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Athol Fugard, “Master Harold” …and the Boys.
19. Henrik Ibsen in Depth.
A Doll House.
Commentary on Ibsen.
20. An Album of Plays.
Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard. Maria Irene Fornes, Conduct of Life. Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman. William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie. August Wilson, Fences.
VIII. WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE.
Taking Notes and Summarizing. Keeping a Response Journal. The Process of Writing an Interpretive Essay: Prewriting. Freewriting, Brainstorming, and Listing. Narrowing the Topic. Trying Out Interpretive Strategies. Formalist/New Critical. Reader Response. Psychoanalytic. Historicist. Developing a Thesis. Principles of Evidence. Backing Up Your Thesis with Details from the Text. Finding Patterns, Implications, Silent Gestures, Codes, and Subtleties. Using Outside Sources. Finding Available Resources. Resources Online: The Internet. Gathering and Using Sources. The Writing Process Continued. Outlining. Drafting and Revising. Editing. The Interpretive Essay's Structure. The Mechanics of Quotation and Documentation. Quoting from a Literary Text. Incorporating Short Quotations Setting Off Long Quotations. Documenting Quotations from a Literary Text. Quoting from an Online Source. Proper Form of Citation. Compiling a Works Cited List. Citing Works in Your Essay In MLA Style. Details of Manuscript Preparation. Sample Essays. A Formalist/Historicist Interpretation Using Sources. A Reader Response Interpretation.
IX. INTERPRETIVE STRATEGIES.
The primary strategy used in this book is traditional close reading. Close reading begins the process of interpretation and criticism of literature. In this sense, the book encourages us to consider what is truly important in any given work of literature, regardless of its genre. Most of the works that appear in these pages have a strong impact on the reader and all of them benefit from a careful reading and interpretation. In each of the genres of fiction, poetry, and drama, I have spent time detailing a close examination of the primary elements, such as style, theme, plot and narrative structure, point of view, tone, form, imagery, symbol arid allegory, figurative language, setting, character, as well as the elements of tragedy, comedy, and tragicomedy. I have chosen works that excite ideas by virtue of their treatment of the elements of literature. I emphasize elements because it is important to see how they intersect, complement each other, and ultimately serve a higher literary purpose: to make a lasting literary statement.
The first chapters of the book explorethe importance of critical reading and offer a close examination of Robert Frost's "Fire and Ice." The process of interpretation by means of a sample reading and its resultant notes, outlines, drafts, and final essay completes the first part of the book. The essay on Frost's poem demonstrates one way in which close reading begins the process of interpreting a piece of literature while at the same time pointing to a number of ways in which a critical examination of the poem might be carried out. Naturally, critical reading will differ from reader to reader and the process of interpretation depends in some measure not only on close reading of a text, but on the preparation and background of the reader.
Each part of the book dealing with a specific genre begins with the title Interpreting Short Fiction, Interpreting Poetry, or Interpreting Drama. Each of these emphasizes the process of close reading and demonstrates a wide variety of ways in which close reading moves us toward an interpretation of the piece of literature. Interpretation implies a coherent reading that clarifies the work's significance. The examples offered in the book point to a range of interpretations, which reflects the fact that different readers will produce different interpretations depending on their critical approach, whether it is the method of formalist new criticism, historicism, feminism, or any one of a number of cultural criticisms. Making good sense of complex works of art takes time and practice as well as the opportunity to examine useful models of criticism. Each of the parts of the book offers such opportunities and such practice. In short fiction, the close reading and interpretation is developed around William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily." In poetry several poems are discussed in detail, but the close reading and interpretation is reserved for Robert Frost's "Birches." Susan Glaspell's amusing comedy, Suppressed Desires, provides the opportunity for close reading. In each of these cases, short essays illustrate useful interpretations and critical strategies.
THE ELEMENTS OF LITERATURE
Literature: An Introduction to Critical Reading, Compact Edition, gives more emphasis to the elements of each genre than does the fuller edition. For example, three short stories illustrate style and theme, plot and narrative structure, as well as each of the other basic elements of fiction. These stories use their respective elements to wonderful effect and help the reader see how powerful the given elements can be. Poetry and Drama are illustrated in similar fashion, tailored to each genre. For poetry, a group of five to ten poems illustrates their respective elements, such as language, imagery, tone, rhythm, rhyme, figurative language, and form. In the section on drama, a group of plays offers the opportunity to see all the elements at work together.
AUTHORS IN DEPTH
In this new compact edition, several authors are represented in depth with a number of their works as well as commentaries either from the authors themselves or from their critics. Anton Chekhov and Eudora Welty each have three stories in this collection and also a number of commentaries that will help students interpret the stories in relation to one another. This strategy helps readers see how individual writers rework similar ideas and use the elements in a way that determines their individual style. In poetry, generous selections from the works of John Keats, Robert Frost, and Sylvia Plath offer opportunities to see how poetic styles develop and how poets establish their own attitudes toward language and style. Henrik Ibsen is represented by A Doll House as well as by his notes on the play. Janet Achurch, the first actress to play Nora, comments on the role while Joan Templeton examines the way critics have treated the play. These critical opportunities offer a model of how outside commentary can shed light on a whole body of writing in addition to the individual piece of writing.
THE ALBUMS OF STORIES, POEMS, AND PLAYS
Each section of the book ends with a representative album of important and exciting stories, poems, and plays. In these albums, students can approach a given work from any angle they choose. Armed with an understanding of how the elements function in short fiction, they may begin with Sarah Orne Jewett, James Joyce, David Wong Louie, or a number of other ranking authors. Each of the nine stories in the album will reward close reading and critical interpretation. In the album of poems, more than two hundred examples, including eight by Emily Dickinson, five by Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker, and eleven of Shakespeare's sonnets, offer a wide range of style, thought, and technique. The album of plays includes six major dramas: Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, Maria Irene Fornes's The Conduct of Life, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Tennessee Williams's <>The Glass Menagerie, and August Wilson's Fences.
WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE
Supplementing the examples of writing in each of the sections on literary genre, Chapter 21, The Importance of Writing about Literature, details all the steps involved in writing an interpretive essay on a piece of literature. The chapter takes Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ozymandias" as its example, then offers an illustration of the process of developing material to support a thorough essay on the poem. Exercises follow in prewriting, freewriting, outlining, drafting and 'revising, editing, and the use of outside sources. In addition, the chapter describes the mechanics of citation and MLA style. Two essays end the chapter, taking two different critical approaches. The first is a formalist/historicist interpretation, while the second is essentially a reader response interpretation.
The final chapter of the book details some of the most important contemporary approaches to critical examination of texts. The formalist new criticism approach is followed by considerations of psychoanalytic criticism, reader response criticism, feminist criticism, political-economic criticism, historicist criticism, and a note on how to combine these methods for best effect. A careful reading of Nikki Giovanni's "Master Charge Blues" shows how a single poem can yield very different interpretations depending on how one approaches it.
An extensive Instructor's Manual of more than 450 pages offers a range of important resources, such as sample syllabi, video and audio recordings of writers in the collection, and detailed treatments of stories, poems, and plays in the text. Almost every work in the book has questions for close reading appropriate for in-class discussion. A second set of questions for critical interpretation helps engage the student in interpretive consideration of the work. These questions can be used by directing class discussion or for assignments in writing. They are open-ended questions designed to stimulate discussion, not close it down.
I was assisted in the preparation of the first edition of the manual by four doctoral students at the University of Connecticut: Catherine Nevil Parker, Julie Pfeiffer, Marianne Sadowski, and Mary Ann Reimann. My own contributions to the manual are in every section. They are based on my more than 40 years of teaching, much of that time teaching Introduction to Literature classes at several universities.