This Thing Called Literature – Andrew Bennett & Nicholas Royle


This Thing Called Literature – Reading, Thinking, Writing

Andrew Bennett & Nicholas Royle (Routledge 2015)
I received this book today as purchased from Amazon UK.

My earlier real-time review of QUILT a novel by Nicholas Royle HERE

***My notes on this book are in real-time below as part of this post’s comment stream.***

16 thoughts on “This Thing Called Literature – Andrew Bennett & Nicholas Royle

  1. But that is NOT the photograph of the Nicholas Royle who co-wrote this book. Meanwhile, the hybrid bio of two Nicholas Royles on the page* linked above only helps illuminate my next quote below from my current reading of ‘This Thing Called Literature’, a wonderful book which so far seems now in 2015 gratifyingly to bolster the thinking behind my gestalt real-time reviewing and dreamcatching of books since 2008.
    [*a page that has been this hybrid one for many years, but please do give it a look now in case someone changes it as result of this reference to it!]

    P10: “No text exists in splendid isolation, however: everything is connected,…”

    EDIT (30.11.21): As far as I can see that linked page above has now been corrected after a number of years being left uncorrected.

  2. P44: “…’leap over the walls of self’ (Wallace 1998, 51). Only in novels do people inhabit our thoughts in this way, prompting us to reflect on the idea that they read our minds as we are reading theirs.”

    This is an eye-opening book, breaking new ground even for someone like myself who has gone on interminably about filters being two-way…
    My own notes on ‘dreamcatching’ that hopefully can be factored into this wonderful book by Bennettt and Royle:

    • The full quote – “The writer, like a swimmer caught by an undertow, is borne in an unexpected direction. He is carried to a subject which has awaited him – a subject sometimes no part of his conscious plan. Reality, the reality of sensation, has accumulated where it was least sought. To write is to be captured – captured by some experience to which one may have hardly given a thought.”

  3. Now – something where I disagree with this book. They encourage brainstorming when reviewing a fiction book. But then they say one should tidy it up and make it appear less haphazard, more argued as if you know what you are talking about. Well, I think there can be something valuable and revelatory in leaving your real-time thoughts written as you first write them. Those thoughts must be expressed carefully, I agree, and they must be based on the ‘truth’ of what you read and of what you feel about that reading. By revising it later you may be inadvertently destroying germs of that ‘truth’.
    I think this book is advice to students and how to present considered academic essays as a result of previous brainstorming. My dreamcatchers and gestalt real-time reviews stand or fall in the cut and thrust of social media and blogs. If many of us do this dreamcatching about a specific fiction book we can increasingly ‘triangulate’ that book’s ‘truth’…


  4. Pingback: The Trance of Reading | THE DES LEWIS GESTALT REAL-TIME REVIEWS — The Zeno Zone

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