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Active Reading and Reciprocal Texts: Destroying Habit and Embracing Responsibility in Modernist Texts

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Abstract

This review explores Vicki Mahaffey’s recent text, Modernist Literature: Challenging Fictions. Mahaffey’s argument that the way we read reflects our willingness to question certain situations is highlighted in the review. All too often, Mahaffey argues, we are encouraged to read texts passively. Modernists authors push us as readers, asking us to become active participants in the texts that we are reading. Questioning many aspects of teaching, Mahaffey also presents a call to action to be more engaged and engaging teachers. As the modernists she discusses encourage a kind of self-reinvention, so does Mahaffey, making her reader question his or her reading practices and daily ways of dealing with the world.

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