Autodidact: self-taught


Politics and Sex

by V. L. Craven

From How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster

It’s All Political

-55- Writers are men and women who are interested in the world around them. That world contains many things, and on the level of society, part of what it contains is the political reality of the time.

-56- Knowing a little something about the social and political milieu out of which a writer creates can only help us understand her work.

Yes, She’s a Christ Figure, Too

-57- Culture is so influenced by its dominant religious systems that whether a writer adheres to the beliefs or not, the values and principles of those religions will inevitably inform the literary work.

-58- A Christ figure doesn’t need to resemble Christ in every way; otherwise he wouldn’t be a Christ figure, he’d be, well, Christ. …literally following in his footsteps aren’t really required. It’s the symbolic level we’re interested in.

-59- One does well to remember that writing literature is an exercise of the imagination. And so is reading it.

-60- Whatever we take away from stories in the way of significance, symbolism, theme, meaning, pretty much anything except character and plot, we discover because our imagination engages with that of the author. … this doesn’t indicate the story can mean anything we want it to, since that would be a case of … just inventing whatever it wants to see in the text. That’s not reading, that’s writing.

Flights of Fancy

-61- Flight is freedom

It’s All About Sex

What the chapter title says.

Except Sex

-62- When they’re writing about other things, they really mean sex, and when they write about sex, they really mean something else. If they write about sex and mean strictly sex, we have a word for that. Pornography.

Geography Matters

-63- When writers send characters south it’s so they can run amok.

One Story

-64- It’s about everything and nothing. It’s an explanation of us-and-the world and us-in-the-world

Marked for Greatness

-65- Are deformities and scars therefore always significant? Perhaps not. Perhaps sometimes a scar is simply a scar.

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