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Just explaining a bit more about this blog

April 8, 2011

What do I analyse?

Probably obvious, but for the purposes of this blog I’m sticking to New Zealand literature for young adults. Other countries will come into it comparatively and certain adult works will naturally come up too, but that’s the focus…

With that in mind, I really only analyse texts I like.  I need a coherent storyworld to enjoy a text… and I don’t like moralistic stuff (not that I mind morals being part of a good storyworld!) – that’s about how I choose.  As I’ve mentioned before, I agree wholeheartedly with the criteria the Carnegie Medal judges apply (obviously excepting the English language, published in Britain bits!).  If you need a list of criteria describing what makes a good book, look there…

After that, I work out which way I want to take the critical study, but I am more likely to apply a cultural studies approach… and as mentioned in the ‘About Backyardbooks NZ page’ of this blog, there are certain fields of interest I am inclined towards.

How to use this blog

Mindmaps help me think critically.  They help me see the links between things and plot a course through all the observations and questions that a text provokes when I read it ‘as a text.’

This blog is a mindmap of sorts; full of random thoughts and relevant-seeming quotations or ideas.

  • There is a tag cloud to the right of the blog, which shows the topics I am exploring as ‘tags.’
  • You can also use the search bar at the bottom of the page to see if a particular word/book/author/theme is mentioned.
  • Each time I bring an author into the discussion for the first time, I add an “Introducing the author” blog. This is easily found at the beginning of the section under that author.
  • If I make a note of something an author said, the easiest way to find it later is just to click on that author in the author section and scroll the entries…
  • I have a section titled ‘Blog Notes’ in which I explain my blogging style.
  • I have a ‘Literary Resources’ section which includes general ideas on literature and its study as well as the questions I apply to any text I study.
  • These questions (eg. Character Questions) may be useful to any other reader wishing to look at this text differently (refer to very early on in the blogging history of this section).
  • I absolutely welcome discussion: comments, suggestions, ideas, criticisms… please go for it!

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