The idea of this blog came up in a Spanish (literature) lecture (yesterday). We had to prepare the short story “Imposibilidad de la memoria” by José María Merino; I usually do so right after being told. Not so last week. Too busy. I briefly thought about it on Monday, but hey, it was Valentine’s Day ;). Before our professor came, my classmates told me it is about a woman whose boyfriend somewhat disappears (like really, vanishes into thin air or so) and in the end, she does so too. We then had to go over the last couple of paragraphs and answer some questions. And without having read the story, I managed to philosophise a little about her “disappearance into a dimension of non-existence where the boy was waiting for her”… Anyway. I didn’t take enough notes to go into detail now. The point is that in literature, the weirdest analysis can still make sense (I remember not really knowing what I was saying but that it sounded quite sophisticated (and thus ‘correct’)). That’s probably the best thing about an analysis; that no matter what you say, it will be right as long as you can proof it in some way, because literature is nothing but veeery subjective.
I understand people moaning about literary essays (noting that I’ve done it before myself), but if there’s one thing that I’ve learnt from it (that could motivate you/them): Transferable skills! Reading between the lines does not only apply to books, but more importantly to everyday life. It’s all about understanding, and trying to figure out what the writer might want to convey is a really good way to practice So maybe a tip when you’re stuck on an analysis: Imagine the story happening in real life, you being a witness/character, and try to figure out what’s going on with you/your friends/whoever 🙂 That makes the whole thing immediately more vivid and interesting!