The Reading Professor

Document Type



A rereading of Robert Silverberg's (1967) young adult novel Planet of Death, occurring as part of a qualitative self-study four decades after this book had been a site of independent repeated reading over the course of my Grade Five school year, offers a chronotopic perspective of the literary motivations and habits in one young girl. Mikhail Bakhtin's conceptualization of the literary chronotope is used to identify elements of time and space related to my transaction with Silverberg's book. Seen through a chronotopic lens, reading appears as a compelling travel opportunity in terms of gender, culture, ability, and age. Rather than developing deeper insights through rereading, it is argued that the threshold of understanding that was reached in an initial reading of this novel was replicated through a series of time-travel experiences that were otherwise rewarding across a span of at least 12 readings during a single school year. Rereading is identified here as an "internal" chronotope that operates as a mechanism for cruise-controlled intellectual travel through which to safely observe, enjoy and repeatedly entertain perspectives other than one's own. Rereading is also identified here as an opportunity to access an "external" chronotope that presents earlier versions of the reader, increasing motivation for reading as well as providing material to support identity studies. Implications from this self-study relate to the importance of offering opportunities for in-school rereading and deeper understandings about the value of this activity.