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?