Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Literary Book Blog Hop Nov 3 to Nov 6

I am always glad to see the Literary Book Blog Hop-sometimes I admit I feel out of place in a world of YA books, vampire romances and ARC reviews.   It is good to meet other people with interests beyond these.

When I started my blog nearly two and a half years ago, I planned to focus on books about people who lead at least partially reading centered lives.   This is still a core focus of my blog but in reality I post on a variety of topics including Japanese literature, post colonial Asia fiction, classics, and lately I have been very into short stories.  My  blog is the home of Irish Short Story Week II (set for March 2012).   I like to discover new to me authors and I am open to joint projects and events.

I will be glad to follow back all who follow me.   If you visit leave a comment so I can return the visit.

Every week we are presented with an interesting question to ponder.

Here is this weeks question:

To what extent do you analyze literature? Are you more analytical in your reading if you know you're going to review the book? Is analysis useful in helping you understand and appreciate literature, or does it detract from your readerly experience? 

I think I can give no better answer for now but to quote the words of the great Japanese novelist Natsure Soseki

"The pleasure we gain from a Noh play springs not from any skill at presenting the raw human feeling of the everyday world but from clothing feeling as it is in layer upon layer of art, and in a kind of slowed serenity of deportment not found in the real world".

When a work of art is considered as a Platonic entity, the purpose of reading is to become one with it.   Sadly as we are not up to this task very often, we must tear works apart.   


Mel u


Song said...

Hmmm...I'll have to disagree about analysis limiting one's reading experience, Mel. If anything, I think it broadens out our perspective. And it makes us understand that the same thing can be viewed in various ways depending on the reader's experience and knowledge as well. In fact, my answer involved the reader-response theory in a bit more detail.:)

Mel u said...

Risa-I expanded my answer a bit based on your remarks so my answer to the question will be a bit less opaque-thanks as always for your comments and visits

Song said...

By tearing works apart I'm assuming you mean over-analysing? Because, I would agree with that whole heartedly. I do feel that some people deconstruct a work so much that there is simply nothing left to enjoy. But again these are mostly academicians and their goal is actually quite different from a regular reader's goal, so I can't really comment much on that.

*ೃ༄ Jillian said...

It sounds like you read by intuition. Literature as art. :-)

Christopher said...

Unfortunately, I'm simply not smart enough to "...become one with..." the book or poem I happen to be reading without doing quite a lot of work first (even the Soseki quotation took me a while to get my arms around). I need the analysis and critical thinking, and sometimes a lot of it! ;-) Cheers! Chris

Rebecca Chapman said...

If I spent most of the time while I was reading the book thinking too much about it, I wouldn't be able to really into the book, without which I think you would miss a lot of the stuff you would like to be analysing. That's why I am a big fan of re-reading

Christina said...

Hm. I think I generally form a stronger connection with a book (and especially its author) when I'm reading more analytically and especially as I learn more about context. Of course, there's a point where criticism breaks down the text (Semiotics?) and that would ruin it for me. I'm glad I don't do that.

Really interesting quote. Thanks for participating in the hop!

Maria Grazia said...

What a great quote you chose, Mel. I like it a lot, though I don't know anything about Japanese literature.
As much as I try to read just for pleasure, I can't avoid analyzing the texts I read. It's a professional bias, unconsciously done. However, it doesn't diminish the pleasure.

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Hmmm...I'm not sure that I understand your position on the questions after reading your answer, but I did like reading it.