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Lecture 2

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Sarah Caskey

th Lecture 2: Tuesday January 17 , 2012 Canadian Short Story Close Readings  Along with paying attention to factors outside the text, we need to understand something about the verbal, formal, and structural elements of the words themselves.  Close reading is a deliberate attempt to detach ourselves from the plot and story of a narrative and pay attention to imagery, allusion, intertextuality, syntax, and form in the writing. Close reading forces us to be active rather than passive consumers of the texts and asks us not just what the story means, but HOW meaning is structured and conveyed through its language.  We do not attempt a close reading of an entire short story. Instead, we look at particular important sentences, sometimes together to reach an interpretation or to illustrate an observation.  To lean how to do close reading, start by selecting a paragraph and look at it sentence by sentence. Why does the author use particular words, images, grammatical constructions, even punctuation? How do these choices affect your responses as a reader? What other choices might the author have made? Are there allusions or quotations from other works of literature or other texts?  HOW DOES THE VERBAL TEXTURE OF THIS PARAGRAPH ILLUMINATE THE THME OF THE STORY? Lazy Bones – Fredrick Philip Grove (1879-1948) (pg. 51)  Is under the heading Realism o Realism is used to demonstrate a recurring mode representing life in literature o Realism is often opposed to romantic fiction  Romance is life as we would HAVE it to be  Realism represents life as it really is o Realistic fiction is written to evoke the feelings of the reader – reinforces that the events could happen, the characters could exist and the situation could take place  Fredrick Philip Grove o A writer devoted to the idea of literary realism  Devoted to the idea of depicting fictional characters and events in such a way as to convince the reader that the narrative was based in real life and was objective and accurate o He would often represent his characters in an unidealized way in an unsentimental aspect of prairie life o The frankness and honesty of Grove’s fiction got him into trouble with the moral arbiters of his time  Lazy Bones is about farming and the toll it takes on male-female relations within the prairie context
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