Monday, February 20, 2012
How to Read Slowly by James W. Sire
The book isn't a method teaching book, it's actually telling you to slow down and smell the roses, so to speak. It's like a literature class condensed into one book (another similar book is How to Read Literature like a professor). However, this book covers fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Most of what the book said was already familiar to me. This was kinda sad, because I was looking forward to learning how to read non-fiction. I realised that thanks to ToK, which is essentially a course in deconstructionism, I know how to read an article and dissect it (i.e. what is the knowledge claim? How does it know?), although the part about identifying worldviews was quite new. I'm used to classifying the worldviews as "Christian" "non-Christian" and according to the various religions. I haven't actually thought of using "nihilism" "existentialism" (although I have heard of "naturalism"), mostly because I'm not sure what it's about. But I should really go read up more(:
The literature section (fiction and poetry), was quite interesting. I liked the poetry section mainly because it summarises what I've been struggling to master while studying poetry (the irony is, when doing an unseen commentary, I almost always pick the poem). But what was most interesting was chapter 5: Cityscape, a larger context. Here, the importance of knowing the literary, historical and cultural background is emphasised, something I do agree with as a method of interpreting literature. I really do love the word "intertextuality", even though I've never been able to use it yet :/
All in all, I think this is a good book if you're trying to find out how to appreciate reading more. But just so you know, the author is a Christian and naturally, references Christianity and the Christian world-view a lot.