Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Engaging with literature: sharing Gatsby's dreams

Interesting article about The Great Gatsby, from the New York Times, about how students from varied backgrounds - to whom the 1920s world of Gatsby might appear to be long ago, far away and also obscure - engage with the book's ideas and characters and find it relevant/meaningful to them.

The article precis says: Urban students see glimmers of their own evolving identities and dreams in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel.

Books can connect in all sorts of ways: we are hardwired for stories. While this article focuses on a book taught as a classroom text, it also argues to me the case for the fiction section in the library being a cornucopia, offering choices and possibilities, because you cannot predict what will connect with this student, or that one. But you can offer them choice, not just supporting the classroom, but a wider choice than the time/space constraints of the class.

You may have to do a once-only register to see the NYT article - I've been registered for a while, and never had any problems with spam or anything else. And there's lots of good info there, together with excellent archives.

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