|Last week's homework assignment.|
These are certainly NOT the only correct answers, but, as you prepare for the end-of-semester test, we hope these sample answers help you understand what our questions are aiming at.
How is the article structured? This article is an essay, a structured argument, presented in the form of a blog post.
Given the structure as you’ve described it, list the segments of the article.
- Part 1 explains why Bob Dylan is significant, and what he accomplished in American culture.
- Part 2 explains how he did this: by demonstrating that popular songs can express huge ideas.
- Part 3 contrasts Bob Dylan's lyrics with what the author considers truly good poetry.
- Part 4 claims that literature is self-contained, in contrast to Dylan's lyrics, which are inseparable from music.
- Part 5, the conclusion, is a sort of lament: we literati have few occasions to celebrate the uniqueness of literature; if you take the Nobel away, we'll have one fewer.
Is there another thing you will remember, in addition or instead, a week or so from now? Literature is a silent activity.
What are three good discussion points that the article brings up? Anything that made you think or question?
- Point 1: Literature in this specific sense of a self-contained, silent art, is little older than the printing press. (Do we agree?)
- Point 2: Reading is a lonely activity in which you listen to a voice generated by your mind's interaction with another mind's words. (Do we agree?)
- Point 3: Is it true that song lyrics are nothing without the music? Could we pick a better example than the song quoted by the author?
Describe the voice and register. The register is literary/conversational ... note words such as "contingent" and "perspicuous" but also the use of the second person to address the reader. The author is speaking in his own personal voice to an audience that is probably already following him, either through his entries on Slate's culture blog, or in his podcasts.