How to Read Literature Like a Professor - Preface - Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Thomas C. Foster
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Summary

Preface – Thomas C. Foster contends that books should end with question marks instead of periods because writers have no idea what will happen to their books after they are published. He gives the examples of Herman Melville and F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose most famous books (Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and Melville’s “Moby Dick”) were panned by readers upon release, though they are revered now. All writers hope for some audience, and Foster explains he is writing for the reader who has decided to return to college in his or her late thirties, or who seeks a better understanding of literature.

He has learned three lessons from the older college students that he teaches. First, never assume anything about their background experience in reading. Second, clear explanations are vital in understanding literature. Third, teach the rules, and then stand aside. Foster...

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This section contains 2,250 words
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Buy the How to Read Literature Like a Professor Study Guide
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