Reader-Response

 

 

     Affective Stylistics: Stanley Fish’s: “anticipation and disappointment is … crucial …, and any interpretation that ignores this sequential process cannot capture the impact of the poem.” (43)

     Fish uses a construct, an “informed” reader, for his investigations.

     Reception Aesthetics: Wolfgang Iser describes what the “Implied” reader does when reading a text.

     Phenomenology: In philosophy (Husserl), focus on the way objects are perceived and informed by human consciousness. Human consciousness is a unified act dependent upon the interrelation between the thinking perceiving subject and the perceived object. (A philosophical tendency that emphasizes the perceiver arguing that objects only have meaning when we perceive them in our consciousness.)

     Iser depends on Husserl and later Ingarden’s phenomenology (text defined as the product of the interaction between the objective existence of a text and the subjective consciousness of the reader)

     Iser gives the reader a big role in the interpretative process when he insists that by filling in the gaps left in the text, the reader enables it to come to existence.

     Identity Theme: Norman Holland uses this psychoanalytical term to explain why different readers see different things in the same text. Holland argues that though texts sometimes challenge readers worldviews, they find pleasure in them as they find ways of understanding them in their own terms, using the text to reinforce and assure their identity.

     Interpretive Communities: Fish at a later stage introduced this term to refer to a group of readers who share common assumptions about the nature of meaning and who employ common strategies in their reading.

 

 

Compiled from:

Booker, M. Keith. A Practical Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism. NY: Longman, 1996.