Comentarios de texto


¡Crédito extra si entiendes el chiste!

En las entradas semanales para nuestra clase:

Empezando en la tercera semana de clases, tienen que hacer por lo menos 10 9 comentarios en el semestre (lo cambié de 10 a 9). Apúntense para hacerlos paralos martes o para los jueves (pero se tienen que subir a las 12am la noche antes de la clase en que vamos a estudiar el texto).

Durante el semestre, debes leer algunos de los comentarios de otros antes de cada clase y también hacer por lo menos 5 “comments” en las entradas de los demás.

You should come to drop-in office hours with printouts of 1-2 of your best posts to receive feedback on them. The weekly comentarios are factored into your final grade breakdown.

Blog Post Instructions:

Include for every post:

  • A pithy title that references the literary work you’re commenting on (whenever possible, choose literary texts, and not critical or theoretical ones for your comentarios).
  • An image: use Creative Commons to avoid copyright violations ( If you use Google image search, link to the URL of the whole page from which you took it (available option in the Edit Media pane). Reduce the size of the image as needed, add a caption, align it to the left-hand side, and wrap the text.
  • A quotation from the text under consideration. If it’s long, format it as a block quote using the WordPress button.
  • Introduce the quote to explain where it came from and follow up with analysis that explains its significance (see close reading guidelines below).
  • Cite with a link to the original source or with an MLA Style parenthetical reference and corresponding works cited entry at the end of your post, if necessary.
  • Tags: enter 2-4 key words from your post in addition to the author’s name, separated by commas, that will help you and your fellow students study for exams. The author’s name must be one tag. Any connection to the list of terms should be included as well. Check the tag cloud on the lower left for any already used tags that apply to your post. These tags will appear in the tag cloud, and clicking on any one of them will bring up all posts that used the same tag.
  • Categories: unselect “Uncategorized” and select your name category. Select “Literatura” and/or “Teoría/crítica” as applicable to your particular post (e.g. if it focuses on a poem but also references Eagleton, use both). Always select your section (B or C) category as well.

 Close Reading Instructions

“Close reading” (“comentario de texto”) is a technique of textual analysis that involves the careful, sustained interpretation of a brief passage of text. It consists of observation, analysis, and synthesis into a broader argument. Such a reading places emphasis on the particular over the general, paying attention to individual words, syntax, genre conventions, and the order in which sentences and ideas unfold as they are read.  Attention to these details often supports arguments about a text overall.


1. Observation:

Pick a passage that seems particularly rich, dense, or complicated. Read slowly and carefully. Circle or underline anything that stands out: repeated words or phrases; odd or particularly pleasing language patterns; shifts in tense or voice; moments that seem to articulate significant ideas; analogies; allusions to other texts; and images or figures of speech that help or hinder your understanding. Make notes in the margins. Don’t just look up words you don’t know; look up almost all the words so that you can better identify words that the author uses in an interesting way.

When turning to your writing, pose your observations clearly to the reader. Consider choices the author has made in selecting particular words, phrases, sentences, and punctuation to express herself. Address how your passage treats at least 3 of the stylistic conventions below for a weekly post and at least 6 for the paper:

  • Diction: What is the source of the language, i.e., out of what kind of discourse does the language seem to come? Did the author coin any words? Are there any slang words, innuendoes, puns, or terms with ambiguous or double meanings? Do the words have interesting etymologies?
  • Structure: Examine the structure of the passage. How is the passage organized? Are there climaxes and turning points? Is it suspenseful?
  • Sound and Rhythm: Acquire a feel for the sound, meter, and rhythm (but always note if it’s produced in translation). Be alert to devices such as alliteration, assonance, rhyme, consonance, euphony, cacophony, onomatopoeia. Examine the meter of the passage in the same way. Is it regular or not? Determine whether the line breaks compliment or complicate the meanings of the sentences.
  • Syntax: Examine the syntax and the arrangement of words in the sentences. What is the rhythm of the sentences? How does the word order influence meaning? Does the syntax allow for ambiguity or double meanings? How is the author using repetition, incantation, and/or listing/enumeration?
  • Textual Context: What role does the passage play in the text overall?
  • Irony: How does dramatic or situational irony operate in the passage, if at all?
  • Tone and Narrative Voice: What is the speaker’s (as distinct from the narrator’s and author’s) attitude towards his or her subject and hearers? What does the passage reveal about the speaker?  Who is the narrator?  What is the relationship between the narrator and the speaker?  Is there more than one speaker?
  • Imagery: What sort of imagery appears in the passage? What do the images connote? Does the passage noticeably lack imagery? If so, why?
  • Rhetorical and Literary Devices: Note metaphors, similes, images, or symbols especially ones that recur in the passage or that were important for the entire text. How do they work with respect to the themes of the passage and the text as a whole? Are there any other notable rhetorical devices? Are there any classical, biblical or historical allusions? How do they work?

2. Analysis:

Now take a step back from your writing. Look at the moments you’ve noted in the text and determine their relationship to each other. Are there formal patterns?  Do individual details in the passage come together to make or support an argument?  How does this passage compare to other descriptions or scenes within the novel as a whole?  Do the details you’ve noticed point to a subtext below the surface content of the text?  What events, texts and/or social, economic, and political circumstances might this passage respond to? In your analytical section of the essay, demonstrate to your reader how your analysis of the context and formal patterns helps illuminate the meaning of the passage as a whole.  This will serve as evidence for your final step that synthesizes your observations and analysis into an interpretation of the passage.

3.  Synthesis:

Based on your observations and analysis, construct one or a series of related interpretative claims that are based in evidence from your chosen passage.  In concluding your essay, show how your reading of this passage illuminates the concerns, themes, and issues of the text as a whole.

Other Compatible Descriptions of Close Reading Techniques You May Consult:

Ejemplo de un comentario de texto

Comentario de “Lección de georafia finisecular” de Guillermo Gómez Peña

ejemplo comentario textoLa primera palabra del título del poema, “Lección de geografía finisecular,” evoca las lecciones de la escuela y el ámbito institucional de la escuela, pero las siguientes palabras complican bastante esta asociación con lo normativo. La yuxtaposición inesperada de “geografía” y “finisecular” sugiere que la geografía es algo que puede cambiar, ya que se cualifica la “geografía” como perteneciente al fin de siglo. Por una parte, esta yuxtaposición sugiere la cartografía antigua y los mapas que ya no usamos, pero, por otra parte, la palabra “finisecular” sin contexto específico excepto el libro de 1996 en que se publicó el poema, sugiere el fin del siglo 20. Entonces, se trata de la geografía contemporánea, a finales del siglo 20, y se sugiere que nuestra geografía está históricamente condicionada y que las fronteras aún pueden cambiar. Es imposible no asociar a Gómez Peña con la(s) frontera(s), ya qua la mayoría de su producción cultural intenta conceptualizar y problematizar la frontera.

El poema empieza apelando al lector con “dear reader/dear audience.” Hay un cambio de códigos ya que el título está en castellano y la primera línea en inglés, algo que nos advierte que el poema va a seguir cambiando de códigos. Además, las minúsculas ponen énfasis en el hecho de que este poema no va a seguir las convenciones poéticas ni respetar al lector en la manera más tradicional. La barra diagonal entre “dear reader” y “dear audience” sugiere simultáneamente una división y una comparación o unión entre la figura del lector y del público, acordándonos de la multiplicidad de géneros y medios que trabaja Gómez-Peña…