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horizon of expectations

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The shared ‘mental set’ or framework within which those of a particular generation in a culture understand, interpret, and evaluate a text or an artwork. This includes textual knowledge of conventions and expectations (e.g. regarding genre and style), and social knowledge (e.g. of moral codes). It is a concept of reading (and the meanings this produces) as historically variable. The term is central in Jauss's reception theory.

Subjects: Literature

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