Mark Meynell (All Souls, Langham Place) has a fine list of 20 questions to ask when reading a novel. The list is introduced by an interesting post, but if you just want the list you can scroll down to the Scribd window. It’s good thoughtful stuff that could enrich our reading (at least for the “we” who usually “just read” ;)
Incidentally, Mark’s opening rant about contemporary Western education focusing on feeling is thought provoking. He concludes:
As a result in western culture, we learn to feel, we don’t learn to think. And narratives are one of the means to engaging our emotions… and thus we get hooked. Why else do advertisers spend so much time on creating ‘product narratives’? More worryingly, why else do campaigners put so much effort in creating a ‘political narrative’ for their electioneering candidates?
That did not fit my education, but then I’m a dinosaur, whose formative years were early in the second half of the twentieth century ;) But more importantly it does not fit my knowledge and experience of non-Western cultures – love of stories, and of the emotional roller coaster a good story takes us on, his human and not at all a product of post-modern failures of confidence in meta-narratives.
What do you think?