Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Guest Blog: Critical Mode

Photo by Tammy

“Drawing is the poet's written line, set down to see
if there be a story worth telling, a truth worth revealing.”

Irving Stone ~ The Agony and the Ecstasy

My insightful and critically astute friend Tammy wrote to share an article on the distinction between casual and critical reading from Lumostiy and to confess that for better or worse:

I never had a literature class is college or grad school. Can you imagine?! I placed out of the English courses needed for my marketing degrees, and so, moved on to required courses. I ended up taking some great electives (Spanish, the development of music in America, recitative and the development of opera), but no literature.

. . . I have always read for love and light and ideas, casually and I think also critically in terms of applying everything to living life. For months I have been feeding on Irving Stone's The Agony and The Ecstasy, taking my time - forced to take it - to chew in and savor and digest the images and lyricism and meatiness of his words. My version of critical reading is: 1) this paperback book, now post it tabbed, dog-eared, and marked by pencil and pen, 2) the same book on Audible with me listen-reviewing what I've already read with my eyes, saying the Italian names of people and places with the reader, and 3) a giant art book, The Complete Works of Michelangelo, that I perused once before I started the biographical novel and now make myself wait to look at again until Michelangelo has completed a piece in the novel."

And in November, I'm going to Florence and Rome!

Thank you for reading this note from me and knowing in your bones what it can mean to fall in love with a person or idea or with life itself through a book, in any way (I believe) we read. Enjoy with me Lumosity's "proof" -- "Researchers observed a significant shift in brain activity patterns as the PhD students went from casual to critical modes. Critical reading increased bloodflow across the brain in general, and specifically to the prefrontal cortex." -- about close reading and why it's okay to have my nose in a book and a pen in my hand.
~ Tammy

Previous Posts by Guest Blogger Tammy Sandel


Every Chocolate Flake

Heart of Hearts


Guest Poet

Strip the Willow & Cadbury Flake