emag at Home 2 – 6 top picks of articles for A Level or IB Literature students

emag at home 2 (March 24th) – articles for AL Lit or IB

6 top picks of articles for A Level or IB Literature students

(Please note: As emagazine is a subscription website, the links in the activities will not work unless you have already logged in. So before starting, please make sure you have logged in to emagazinehttps://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/e-magazine/emag-login/)

  1. Theoretically Speaking

What can critical approaches offer you as you develop your own independent reading? In this article, Dr Andrew Green shows how theory can open up new possibilities, using Dylan Thomas's 'Do not go gentle' as an example.

  • Try reading Dylan Thomas’s poem first. Think about your own thoughts, feelings and reactions to the poem.
  • Then read Andrew Green’s article which opens up different critical angles that you can apply to any text.
  • You might want to go on to find another short text for yourself and see if you can apply the same critical approaches to that.
  1. Is It a Play? Is It an Advert? Is it a Poem? How We Decide What is Literature

In this article, George Norton asks how we know that something is literature or not. Using extracts from texts and critical comment, he offers some ways of deciding that get to the heart of what we do when we study texts.

  • This kind of article (of which there are many others in the magazine) is great for getting you thinking beyond just your set text, to help you mull over the big, important questions about what literature is and why we study them.
  1. Total Textuality – Yeats’s ‘Irish Airman’

Professor Peter Barry argues for four levels of commentary – a way of analysing any text which draws on different approaches to literary study. He exemplifies this with commentary on a poem.

You could read his article and then try to apply his methods to a poem of your own choice.

  1. Guilty Pleasures – The Value of Rubbish-reading’

Which texts are you proud to have read? And which do you keep quiet about? In this article, Carol Atherton reflects on her teenage reading to explore ideas about the canon, those that are included – and those that are not.

  • At home, working on your own and perhaps having some time for reading for pleasure yourself, you might want to think about where you’d place your chosen texts and why, as well as thinking about the different kinds of interest and pleasure they are offering you.
  • Share your choices of reading and this thinking with others in your class, to offer each other ideas for reading.
  1. English Literature at University – A More Sophisticated Way of Reading

In this article, English Lecturer Siobhán Holland explains what you can expect from an English Literature course at university – not an entirely different experience, but one that will give increasing sophistication to your ideas about texts and reading.

There are several other articles on the website that give you ideas about what studying English at university might be like. If you’re in Year 12 and will have some choices coming up, this one might be good to help you with your decision.

  1. In the Beginning – the Opening of Narrative Texts

emagazine editors, Barbara Bleiman and Lucy Webster, introduce some ideas about how narrative texts begin, drawing on the ideas of John Mullan and Blake Morrison, and provide an activity to do yourself on the openings of several well-known novels. Click to read.