Read Literature Like a Professor

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Title: How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines,

  • Revised Edition Paperback – February 25, 2014 by Thomas C Foster (Author)
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  • great guide educating about the basics of classic literature and how authors use patterns, themes, memory and symbolism in their work to deliver their message to you.
  • Good summary note here ULR

  • Lesson 1: Most books hide their message using memory, symbols and patterns.
    • Memory, symbols, and patterns are what hide the deeper message in any book.
  • Lesson 2: One of the most common patterns is the quest structure.
    • eg. hero type: A quester / A destination / A stated reason to go / Some challenges along the way / An unexpected revelation
  • Lesson 3: + Look for universal messages in books to discover which symbols authors use.
    • intertextuality – all texts depend on one another – and it’s a good thing!
    • Ask “What’s the universal message behind this event?” as you read, and you’ll be able to spot symbols and some of the big ideas, which have been around for centuries.
  • Interesting messages: summarized here ULR
    • Which questions help you get to the emotional level of a book
    • What one book all other books connect to
    • How the Mississippi river is a symbol for more than one thing, in just one book
    • Why settings profoundly shape how we perceive a story (and what role seasons play in it)
    • What makes irony one of the most powerful tools of an author

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