21L.488 | Spring 2018 | Undergraduate

Contemporary Literature: Street Haunting in the Global City


Re-Reading Assignment 1


Due: Class 11

Hand in an approximate 2 page reading response. The response will be informal (no need for thesis statement or developed argument; you’re free to narrate your own personal re-reading experience) but should be written in full sentences, thoughtful and analytical, and provide specific quotations from the excerpt chosen. The most important criteria is evidence of serious grappling with the text/class concepts.

Choose one passage to share with the class. 

Part I

Choose one option:

  1. Re-read 25 pages from Saturday. The only portion you may not choose is the last 25 pages of the novel.
  2. Re-read any 25 pages from Open City.
  3. Re-read Woolf’s “Street Haunting.”
  4. Re-read Poe’s “Man of the Crowd.”

Possible prompts to guide your re-reading response. Not exhuastive and not necessary to address all.

  • What new connections were you able to make to other parts of this text, and to other texts we have read?
  • What is something you did not notice the first time around?
  • What is something you noticed the first time around, but now interpret differently or have a different reaction to?
  • How is your reading of this excerpt different knowing what you know about the rest of the text?
  • What interesting uses of figurative or descriptive language did you notice?
  • Take the time to look up unfamiliar words, names, allusions, dates, historical events, etc. Record them. Does this knowledge help or shift your reading at all?
  • Where do you see something that could be read in more than one way?
  • Without having to worry about plot or what is going on, what do you notice about the formal and stylistic choices made by the author?
  • Do you see any other connections to current events, your experience of Boston/other cities, or other discussions we have had in class?
  • What questions does the passage raise for you (ongoing or new)? Did anything become more problematic in your view? Does anything continue to bother or confuse you?
  • What observations do you have about your own personal reading experience and what was different (environment, mood, time of day, stress level, schedule, interest in or engagement with the text, etc.)

Part II

Re-read at least 5 pages from Baudelaire or de Certeau. You can provide answers/notes to the following questions on any piece of paper; you do not need to write up full sentences for this section.

You must provide notes for all of the following:

  • List and look up any words (or allusions) that you do not know or would like a more precise definition for. Record the definitions. If there are no words you did not already know, choose any 3 and record their basic Oxford English Dictionary (OED) etymology.
  • Jot down figurative uses of language or interesting rhetorical devices. These are critical pieces, but the authors still make creative choices. What are they?
  • Choose 1 sentence that could provide a good quotation in a paper, or could connect to one of our primary texts.
  • Paraphase or jot down notes on the main point(s) made by the author (about 1–3 is fine).

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2018
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments