Sunday, November 6, 2011

Literary Blog Hop

Literary Blog Hop
This month I'm participating in the Literary Blog Hop hosted by The Blue Bookcase!

This monthly blog hop is open to blogs that primarily feature book reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion.


This month's discussion question is:
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 like to think that I analyze what I read. I mean, I'm not back in AP English, writing a full analysis of a book, covering themes, motifs, symbols, syntax, etc, but I do try to touch on those elements as they jump out at me.

My focus lately has been to analyze books from a feminist/social justice perspective. I'm less concerned with pointing out the technical merit of a work than I am with wondering what that work says about our culture and society. One of the values in blogging is that I can add my voice and perspective to the myriad others out there. While I am not (by far!) the only blogger with a feminist viewpoint, it seems that I can add to an understanding of books through my analyzing them.

Am I more analytical when I know I'm going to review a book? Maybe. If I'm not reviewing a book or discussing it at a book club, there's no real need for me to fully form my thoughts and argue for a position. That's another reason I like blogging - I'm currently without a book club, and the hubby can only nod his head and say "Unh-huh" so many times before I give up. Not that I blame him. He's never been a reader.

Being critical of a book does help me enjoy it. I want to engage in the text. Every now and then I get a wild hair to read something decidedly non-literary. Maybe my grandma's left a Nora Roberts book at my place and I pick it up. I get about halfway through I literally start to feel ill. It's like I've gorged on candy and made myself sick. Of course, I keep going! I rarely abandon a book. (I do not judge those who choose to read Nora Roberts. To each their own. Just read!)

So, are you an analyze-er?

4 comments:

MARIA GRAZIA said...

Loved reading your blogpost, MJ. It's always nice to meet other readers, share opinions, compare. That's why I love blogging too! And this hop has made me meet several interesting people and discover many interesting blogs.
Up with books. Down with over-analysis. :-)

Vasilly said...

I think I analyze almost every book that I read. It can take some of the pleasure away so I try not to do it too much. Like you said, some books are just candy.

Red said...

I like your part about talking to your husband about book and him just nodding in response. That's one of the reasons I like book blogging so much, since I had a similar experience with my boyfriend.

MJ said...

@Maria: Thanks for stopping by!

@Vasilly: Yes, I can't help myself!

@Red: Ha! I try to get the hubby to read some things, but he won't ever pick up a book on his own. He might read one or two books a year.