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Dr Alistair Brown | Associate lecturer in English Literature; researching video games and literature

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Through exploring the psychopathology of Capgras syndrome, in which a patient mistakes a loved one for an imposter, The Echo Maker offers a sustained meditation on the ways in which we project our own problems onto other people. As a reflection on the mysteries of consciousness, the novel offers some interesting if not especially new insights into the fuzzy boundaries between scientific and literary interpretations of the mind. Read more

The Art of Reading

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A fun article from the Guardian Education about "The Art of Reading," from their How to Be a Student series:
you don't just need to do it, you need to be seen to be doing it (and acting upon it). Sometimes you can be seen to be doing it even if you're not. This is called adding footnotes. Always read at least the title and name of the author, however, because it's never a good idea to pretend you've read some thing unless you're absolutely sure your tutor hasn't written it.
The secret Harriet Swain did not mention, however, was that this applies not only to new undergraduates, but to doctoral students and, yes, even professors.

Indeed, without wanting to sound too vain, I consider myself a Master of the Art of nodding sagely, when asked by my supervisor/conference delegate/peer etc. whether I have read Book X, and of then twisting the subject to my own self-inflating ends. "Yes, I found Book X most interesting. But I thought Book Y" - which I have read, or at least read the review of - "was the more accessible text." This game of intellectual ping-pong can go on for hours, as my initial interrogator must dissimulate equally: "Book Y was interesting, but I thought Book Z..."

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Posted by Alistair at 10:31 am


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