I read the Introduction and Chapter 1 out loud between another student and I, while doing this I found that certain parts of the book stood out to me more than others immediately. One of the those things was the “language of reading” as a student compared to reading as a professor. In the introduction it says how readers respond on an emotional level before anything else and, in comparison, how professors look directly at the questions “where did that effect come from?” “Whom does the character resemble?” “Where have I seen this situation before?” As a reader I do find myself connecting with the literature we read on an emotional level first. For example, when we were doing a close reading on The Star Spangled Banner my first reaction to the poem was anger and pride. I focused on how I felt rather on what made me feel that way. That’s one of the large connections I have made throughout the first week of class and by reading the introduction and first chapter of Foster’s book. I realized there are questions that I need to ask myself first to be able to truly analyze literature and do a proper close reading. Instead of focusing how angry I was while reading the Star Spangled Banner I should’ve been focused on how words such as “foul footsteps’ pollution” made me resent the enemy and feel pride in my homeland. Prior to this class and this book I never realized how truly off I was from the “language of reading” and how I’ve always been focusing on the right things but in the wrong way. Once I learn to ask those questions that professors do I’ll be able to see literary text through those same glasses as the professor.
via Foster, Intro.