Book burning monument in Berlin, Germany. Heine said in 1892, long before the Nazis gained power in Germany that,"...where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people." (Almansor, 1892) This ominous line from the play is engraved at the site.
Activity 1 After reviewing the different reading practices, look at the following texts through at least two different lenses. In doing so, answer the following questions: (You might like to use a table to organise your ideas and so that you can see the readings side by side.)
What overall meaning do you take from the text? That is, what does it say to you about life, the universe and everything?
What generic conventions can you identify which contribute to this meaning?
What symbols or motifs become important when read through this lens?
What language devices contribute to your reading?
How might you incorporate context into the meaning you make? (This could be textual context, author context, or reader context)
Novel extracts Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Heinrich Boll's The Lost Honour of Katherina Blum Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale John Boyle O'Reilly'sMoondyne (Read Chapter 2: The Convict Road Party) Rachel Cusk's Arlington Park Tony Hunter's Listen To The End Archie Weller's Stolen Car Tara Jane Winch's Swallow The Air Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford
Drama extracts Louis Nowra's Cosi Roger Hall's The Share Club Emily Mann'sStill Life Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler William Shakespeare's The Tempest William Shakespeare's Othello Jamie Pachino's Waving Goodbye
Obviously the film excerpts are not acceptable texts for use in your Literature exams; however, they make good study tools when you feel like 'mixing up' your routine and giving yourself a break from reading.
Activity 2 Construct a plan for a response to Section One of the Literature exam, using the question: Construct a reading which takes into account reading practices and generic conventions.
Activity 3 Reflect on the way that you tend to view texts. What 'lens' do you generally bring to texts you read? Why do you think that you do this? Which is the reading practice which you least often employ? Why do you think that is?