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John | 22nd Jun 2011, 05:42 AM | HKDSE英文科校本評核(SBA) | (12749 Reads)

那麼多的事情不好做,為甚麽要我寫閱讀報告和reflections?愛閱讀,愛體會,為甚麽不可以愛將感想藏在心?我可以不寫嗎?

 

有些話「可為智者道,難為俗人言」。有些話,精闢的,難以言詮。有些感覺,美好的,不宜啟齒。

 

沒蓋好的水更容易蒸發。感覺也可以被時間洗去,特別是在我們用口說了和用手寫了出來之後,很快就會在陽光下變質、隨風消渺,不再是埋於心間的原本。

 

總覺得,寫給教師看的reflections或者讀書報告,多少有點加功、矯情。為博取分數,文字故意寫得半假不真,例如隨便翻揭過就裝作曾經用心捧讀,感覺麻目卻裝作擊節讚賞。偽善代代相傳,是登龍的大業,不朽的盛事,也是校園生活的一部分,做學生,從來如此。

 

要我用真心寫讀書報告,簡單,我會寫四個字:「我不想寫」。闡釋版是:「老師,我有話要寫,但不想寫給你這位催眠師看。」舉例版是:「Can you imagine anything as stupid as Romeo and Juliet?  It’s the dumbest of plays.  That boring guy Shakespeare writes funny.  I hate him.  It’s almost impossible to understand him──”O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo” ──Why doesn’t he write “Why are you named Romeo”?

 

然而,要鑽營高分數,我的方法不少。喜觀用的,慢用。

 

What skills are demanded of you in writing report / review / reflections on a book?  There is no quick answer to this question, because each genre (體裁), be it novel, play, biography, or any other literary form, will necessitate a slightly different approach and emphasis.

 

This post is about some guidelines on writing reflections on novels.

 

Novels is an all-inclusive/umbrella terms.  A novel can be classical, Romantic, impressionistic, realistic, Gothic (寫古堡加超自然力量那類), and naturalistic.  There are also historical novels, fantastic novels, adventure novels, psychological novels, and science fiction novels.  Again, each will require a slightly different approach in reviewing.  Yet the common characteristics of novels are sufficiently similar for us to use some guidelines for writing reflections on them.

 

Your reflections may comprise two elements: (a) critical observations (your impression of a novel’s worth) (你對那部小說的看法), and (b) some (but not all) facts about the work’s content (小說的部分內容).  Always integrate (a) and (b) and subordinate (b) to (a).

 

By “subordinating (b) to (a)”, I mean you may substantiate the views you give under (a) with the facts you present under (b).  In other words, you should be highly selective as regards what information is to be given about a novel’s content, and you should base your decision on your critical observations. (選用小說的內容來支持你對小說的看法)

 

Below are aspects of a novel that you may discuss under (a) and (b).  Needless to say, you cannot, nor should you attempt to, discuss all of these aspects. ((a)(b)有很多層面,可以從其中幾個層面寫)

Critical observations

1.          Author’s style of writing Is it witty, corny (舊「橋」), elegant, forceful, simplistic (太簡單), predictable(結局早被你看穿), explicatory (解說性的,如The Da Vinci Code的部分內容), or clear and easy to understand?  Does the author use symbolism (象徵手法), allegory (寓言) or figures of speech (比喻)?  Is the style used appropriate to the subject and theme?

Short Sample

The way Vladmir Nabokov wrote brings us back to childhood love.  There is no exaggeration that this Russian-born American writer has transcended national and cultural barrier. (Vladmir Nabokov是俄國人,但能用英文寫中年人童僻,所以說他跨越國家和文法障礙)

2.          Theme and purpose

Short Sample 1

This clean, captivating (吸引的) novel explores the bonds of brotherhood and the correlation between love and sex (性和愛的關係) like a haunting modern fairy tale.

Short Sample 2

Winning a lottery can be a blessing or a curse (是禍是福), depending on your perspective.  The message of Mark Six, a Hong Kong novel, is that we can see it as a blessing, if we understand the nature of true wealth and the role it plays in our lives.

3.          Syntax and diction (choice of words) (句構和用詞) Can they set / establish the appropriate tone and mood / the desired atmosphere?

4.          Audience For what type of audience is the work written? To what tastes does the work appeal? Will it be a best seller?

Short Sample

It is promising that the novel will hit the market.

5.          Mood and tone Is it light, wild, moody, vivid, satirical, ironical, comedic, mournful, prejudiced, thoughtful, or else?

Short Sample

Like the sweat of lust (淫慾) and lechery (好色), the sweat of remorse () trickles through Novel ABC, a story about ex-martial affairs (婚外情).

6.          Character development (人物發展,例如開頭的儍小子,後來變得更儍,或者C-cup的女人如何變了A-cup)

7.          Author’s background and knowledge

8.          Comparison and/or contrast with other books by the same author

Short Sample 1

The Da Vinci Code is the [second] book of a [trilogy] in which Dan Brown traces the rise of cult symbolism (崇拜符號學).

Short Sample 2

The author has managed to make his third book almost as appealing and inviting as her first book.

9.          Comparison and/or contrast with other books by different authors

Short Sample         

[Sunset] is a novel, a record of the post-war Hong Kong, as seen from the eye of a 14-year-old prostitute.  This is the second time I read books about Hong Kong.  My first one was [All Quiet on the Jade Market].  The two are very different in style.  The background of [Sunset] is Tiu Keng Leng (調景嶺) in the 1950s.  The story focuses on the under-aged sex worker Cheung Bik-har, and nearly everything was described from her point of view.  Being an illiterate orphan with artistic talents, compounded by the fact that she had to earn her living with her budding body, she saw things very differently from us.  Meanwhile, [All Quiet on the Jade Market] is about the experience of a jade hawker through the rise and fall of the Canton Road Jade Market.

Facts about the book’s content:

1.          Plot - How does the story evoke?

Short Sample

The two heroine’s adventures (女主角的奇遇) are raw and rough (風風雨雨的), dare devilish (敢作敢為,大胆), and teeter on the brink of romance (在戀愛邊上), but memories of Obama, their common ex-bf and current president of the United States, pervade (遍及) their emotions, and soon their fun morphs into (蛻變) a crisis, especially when they discover the true identities of Obama’s wife and her pack of friends.

2.          Interesting incidents

Short Sample

A tour bus crashes in a savage rainstorm and lands Raymond Lee in the middle of a death-dealing confrontation. (大雨撞車後捲入兇險的對抗)

3.          Humorous or dramatic scenes

In order to impress a sophomore boy (大學二年級男生) she likes, Iris concocts a tall tale (編造大話) in which she is co-starring in a movie with Sammi Cheng and other celebrities.  The lie quickly gets blown out of proportion, and things get even more troublesome when the boy’s father, who admires Sammi, forces her to reveal the truth.

4.          Setting

Short Sample 1

Novel ABC is a parable that takes place in a cellar. (一個在地窖發生的寓言)

Short Sample 2

Visitors is a 2009 soft science fiction novel by John Thomson.  It is set in 2020 when visitors from outer space come to the earth.  They are at first presented as peaceful, friendly, and fantastic, but gradually appear more and more sinister. (外星日嚟啦,起初好得不像話,原來係「奸」的)

5.      Character delineation / Contrasts or similarities between characters

Short Sample

The story is about four beings living in a labyrinth (迷宮): Gee and Gullian are pigs, non-analytical and non-judgmental, and just respond to what happens.  John and Jones are panda-sized intelligent dwarfs (大熊貓大小的矮人) who consider themselves smarter.

6.      Protagonist: a tragic hero (悲劇英雄)? An anti-hero? The author’s attitude towards him/her

Short Sample

Novel ABC offers an unflinching reflection (無畏的反思) on the worst and the best we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness (當一切都會毀滅) and desperate perseverance (面對毀滅的堅定), and the love and tenderness that keeps the heroine and her husband alive in the face of total destruction.

7.      How does the author present men, women, the underprivileged (弱勢社群)?

Short Sample

In Chapter 9, Helen finds herself stuck going to the birthday party of someone she barely knows.  She just re-gifts a used but nearly new mastermind game. (要參加生日會,和主人家不熟絡,隨便包份九成新的mastermind當禮物)

8.      The author’s background and attitude towards life, love, justice, government, religion, to say just a few.

Short Sample 1

ABC was born in DEF.  He attended the University of GHI in early 1970s, and joined JKL, serving two years.  He then returned to the university and published the novel MNO and won the Pulitzer (普林茲獎).

Short Sample 2

Throughout the autobiographical novel (自轉體小說), the author uses clever language and humor to guide the reader through her personal journeys.  She shares candidly about her traumatic night in a police station (駭人的差館一夜) after being arrested for street demonstration and the unjustified strip search (無理的祼體搜身) she had to go through, the underwear fetish of her boyfriend (男友對內衣的僻好), her obsession with midgets (她對矮小男生的着迷), the laughter and tears (喜與悲) she shared with her rotund father (肥矮daddy), and her likes and dislikes of various dishes.

  

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