If you have students who are majoring in the sciences or interested in science fiction, try to get them involved in these discussions. These students rarely have the opportunity to discuss their areas of expertise in literature classes, and they can help their fellow students to better understand Pynchon's allusions. Also, you may have students who can provide updated information about the theories and scientists mentioned in the text.
Students who rely heavily on biographical information when they read and interpret literature may wish to know more about Pynchon before interpreting his writing. This would be a good time to briefly teach students about the New Critics' approach to reading literature, including their ideas about the intentional fallacy. You might emphasize the importance of close reading--students should learn how to think about and discuss not only the general ideas in a text but also its language. Choose a phrase or sentence, and ask them to discuss the connotations of each word. As for the intentional fallacy, ensure that students do not assume that a text means a certain thing because that interpretation agrees with the author's biography: it is impossible to ever truly know the author's intention.efended her own work from the criticisms she levels at other women writers in the story?
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