In his collected Lectures on Literature, the American writer Vladimir Nabokov (author of the controversial novel Lolita), we find a “little quiz” he devised for his students to test their thinking about what makes a “good reader.” Take his good reader quiz, below, and see if you can identify the four qualities Nabokov required from his students of literature.
Select four answers to the question what should a reader be to be a good reader:
1. The reader should belong to a book club.
2. The reader should identify himself or herself with the hero or heroine.
3. The reader should concentrate on the social-economic angle.
4. The reader should prefer a story with action and dialogue to one with none.
5. The reader should have seen the book in a movie.
6. The reader should be a budding author.
7. The reader should have imagination.
8. The reader should have memory.
9. The reader should have a dictionary.
10. The reader should have some artistic sense.
Justify each answer by briefly explaining why you consider that to be an important quality. Add “because” to the end of that answer and complete the sentence. Then illustrate 2 of your answers by describing how those particular qualities helped you understand, experience, or connect with one of the short-stories from this unit.
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