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April 8, 2022


#Non-fiction This Thing Called Literature

by N@ncy

Library Trinity College Dublin, Ireland


  This Thing Called Literature Reading, Thinking, Writing by Andrew Bennett by Andrew Bennett (no photo)

Finish date:  03 April 2022
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: B
Review: This Think Called Literature (ISBN: 978-1408254011

Bad news: Information how to read poem, short story and novel was as rich and dense as wedding cake, and just as hard to digest…in anything more than the smallest portions. At one point my eyes glazed over. Tropes were familiar: “A poem should no mean …but be.” (Archibald MacLeish) A short story produces “single effect”(E.A. Poe), A novel asks questions what it means to be human.

Good news: Offers practical tips and new ways of thinking about the familiar. This book did make me think about a thing that has troubled me: Why do I think a book is awful? Is it really the book…or is it me? Chapter “Thinking” (pg 79) is really an eye-opener!!

Best chapter:  How to read a play. I learned so much in this chapter. It made the book worth reading.
Best tip: BEFORE you start the play…read a critical essay or the Sparkenotes. It will help you find the details, the allusions…and in general the historic context.

Personal: I love to learn about literature. The only thing I really liked in this book was….it gave me some “food for thought”. I rarely ask the question: Why do some works of literature travel through time while others cannot?
Why is Shakespeare still relevant?
Why is Jane Eyre more than just a romance?
Answer: These literary works change every time we read them…that is their enduring strength. Be prepared to cherry pick…the best items of information for your own benefit. There is much to learn but you have sift through a lot of examples Mr. Bennett uses to support his arguments.

Last thought: Play: BOYS AND GIRLS (ISBN: 978-1786823144)
Staring one actor: Carey Mulligan
What a gripping play…I’ve never forgotten it.
Girls & Boys by Dennis Kelly by Dennis Kelly Dennis Kelly

  1. Dennis Kelly: Kelly was born to Irish parents  in London and
  2. is always described as a “London- based writer”.
  3. He is comfortable describing himself as second-generation Irish and
  4. indeed he holds both an English and an Irish passport.



Read more from Mount TBR 2022, non-fiction
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Apr 9 2022

    What did you discover about the ‘awful’ books?
    “These literary works change every time we read them…that is their enduring strength” and also we change every time we reread something like Jane Eyre. Which is one of the reasons I love to reread certain books. Lots don’t merit a reread, but the ones that do are almost like reading a new book all over again it feels so fresh still.


    • Apr 9 2022

      The word awful was not mentioned in the book.
      We can’t avoid books that are as useless as a snapped rubber band.
      Just use your own discretion….toss a book as soon as you realize you are wasting your precious reading time. Thanks for your comments!

      Liked by 1 person


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