Do English teachers hate going to the movies?

How many times have you been asked this question?  It might have also sounded like this:

“Miss, has being an English teacher, like, killed every book for you?”

“Do you end up analysing every scene in a movie all the time?”

“Honey, can’t you just enjoy the story?” 😉

Re-reading through Jack Thompson’s first chapter in Reconstructing Literature Teaching I have just found the best answer ever to these questions!  Thompson quotes Selden (1985, p.3):

Readers may believe that theories and concepts will only deaden the spontaneity of their response to literary works.  They may forget that ‘spontaneous’ discourse about literature is unconsciously dependent on the theorising of older generations.  Their talk of ‘feeling’, ‘imagination’, ‘genius’, ‘sincerity’ and ‘reality’ is full of dead theory which is sanctified by time and has become part of the language of common sense.

Wonderful, huh?  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  ‘Dead theory’…I’m gonna use that one!

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  1. #1 by scott on February 19, 2010 - 11:46 am

    yes, lovely, but please tell me what this has to do with writing chapter 6 of your thesis! sounds like you might have time to do a book review for me afterall!

    i wonder if there are any copies of thompson’s book lying around English house?

  2. #2 by Julie Bain on February 22, 2010 - 12:39 pm

    Hey Kelli,
    Yep this is a common cry from students who have realised they can now view the construction of films while they watch and enjoy with a strange sense of superiority as they recognise that the film-makers are manipulating them, and HOW they are being manipulated… it is all mind expanding…

  3. #3 by Julie Bain on February 22, 2010 - 12:57 pm

    By the way, I love going to the movies!

  4. #4 by Mark on March 13, 2010 - 9:14 pm

    I am several people at a movie – it’s great to have Multiple Personalities. I saw Avatar on all those levels. So, I enjoy each movie immensely – except Bright Star. That was terrible.

  5. #5 by Julie Bain on March 13, 2010 - 11:58 pm

    I love watching movies, love participating in them (as I relate to characters, or feel I am just like them), I love deconstructing, love being an passive audience member enjoying it on superficial, emotional, psychological, critical and feminist levels. Love watching movies to look for product placements, listening to familiar and new music. Being in that dark room with the big screen… it is all good, on so many levels! lol

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