The Funferall Threefold Reading Method

This method for reading groups to read the Wake in a smooth, straightforward, even efficient (!) way was first tried (as far as we know) at the Allforabit Funferall meeting in September 2009. It seems to work pretty well. We'll keep trying it and let you know whether we still like it.

  1. Read it aloud: One member reads a predefined passage, such as a page or a long paragraph, aloud to the other members.
  2. Get an overview: The group goes over the passage together, trying to make general sense of it, but without any reference material.
  3. Suck it dry: Once the group is satisfied that they have made general sense of the passage -- or that they can't -- they return to the passage and try to discover what they have missed, using any reference material they have available.

The crux of this technique is separating the "overview" level from the "suck it dry" level. We've found that otherwise, some people (who may have read the passage already and have a general idea of what it means) are plunging into the passage's depths of meaning, while other readers are still trying to get a general handle on the passage, leading to a kind of traffic jam in the discussion (to mix several metaphors, but if you read the Wake, you should be used to that). When the levels are clearly separated, everyone can work together on the same aspects of the text at the same time.