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reader-response theory

Subject: Literature

A view of literary interpretation associated with the American critic Stanley Fish. It holds that meaning does not reside in the text, but in the mind of the reader. The text functions ...

reader-response theory

reader-response theory  

Dictionary of the Social Sciences

Reference type:
Subject Reference

...-response theory See reception theory and reader-response theory...

reader-response theory

reader-response theory   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Media and Communication (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Media studies
Length:
341 words

...-response theory ( reader-response criticism , reader-oriented or audience-oriented theory or criticism ) In literary and cultural theory, various approaches since the late 1960s exploring the role of the reader as an active participant in making sense of texts ( see also active audience theory ; beholder’s share ). Reader-response theorists reject textual determinism: they do not assume that meaning resides within the text (in contrast to formalists and literalists ; see also affective fallacy ), or that meaning is determined by...

reader response theory

reader response theory   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
139 words

... response theory A view of literary interpretation associated with the American critic Stanley Fish ( 1938–  ). It holds that meaning does not reside in the text, but in the mind of the reader. The text functions only as a canvas onto which the reader projects whatever his or her reactions may be. The text is a cause of different thoughts, but does not in itself provide a reason for one interpretation rather than another. The theory chimes in with much in postmodernism , but threatens to make a mockery of the fact that there is such a thing as learning...

reader-response theory

reader-response theory   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005

...-response theory . This approach to criticism derives from Hermeneutics , a discipline which places at its centre the practice of interpretation rather than particular results. In such a perspective, the reader of a literary text, so long ignored or taken for granted, makes a dramatic reappearance as the focus of meaning, the site of the construction of significance, if not always the actual constructor. Hans Robert Jauss developed what he called an ‘aesthetics of reception’, and Wolfgang Iser, in a book entitled Der Implizite Leser ( 1972 ), explored...

reader-response theory

reader-response theory  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
A view of literary interpretation associated with the American critic Stanley Fish. It holds that meaning does not reside in the text, but in the mind of the reader. The text functions only as a ...
Reception and Reader‐Response Theories

Reception and Reader‐Response Theories   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Semiotics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Language reference, Linguistics
Length:
1,906 words

...and ReaderResponse Theories . A critical theory that came to prominence during the 1970s and early 1980s, reception theory encompasses a cohesive and collective critical movement emanating from the University of Constance in Germany. Its chief exponents are Hans Robert Jauss and Wolfgang Iser . The term readerresponse theories is wider in application and has been assigned retrospectively to diverse theories, including Iser's, circulating mostly in North America over roughly the same period. These theories include Stanley Fish's affective...

Reception and Reader-Response Theories

Reception and Reader-Response Theories  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Linguistics
A critical theory that came to prominence during the 1970s and early 1980s, reception theory encompasses a cohesive and collective critical movement emanating from the University of Constance in ...
Novels

Novels   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
6,137 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...Her use of free indirect discourse (the source of the closeness readers feel to the emotional responses of her heroines) and her powers of characterization through speech create a psychological verisimilitude which has distracted attention from other ingredients of her fiction: fairy-tale elements in the plots, for example, make Fanny Price a Cinderella as well as a study in regulated jealousy. The fictionality of her fictions, clearly signalled by references to the reader's expectations, the author's arbitrary will, and the stock phrases with...

15 Children’s Books

15 Children’s Books   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the Book

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Social sciences
Length:
4,997 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...great creative scope in the presentation of material to the child reader. A book’s intended audience can be discerned usually from its packaging: the younger the reader, the more features are used to interpret, decorate, or promote the text. As the child matures, the book incorporates fewer such elements. Children’s books have been sold in *edition bindings since the late 17 th century; the materials of the binding and its decoration typically distinguish a book for younger readers from one for older children, or a school book from one for leisure...

Prose

Prose   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
4,185 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

..., and other intellectual inheritors of the Edinburgh-based *Scottish Enlightenment stood a tendentious body of philosophical and historical arguments [ see *history, 38 ]. Most readers would have encountered this, if at all, only in the writings of David *Hume , William *Robertson , or Adam *Smith ; that is, in Scottish philosophical history, with its ‘inevitable stages’ theory of the development of British modernity, and in the new ‘science’ of political economy with its rationalizing of commercial society. The Edinburgh reviewers' aim was as much to...

Literary Theory

Literary Theory   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
4,935 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...of life? The literary and aesthetic theories of Coleridge and De Quincey elaborate different but interrelated responses to the late-eighteenth-century ‘turn’ to the subject exemplified by Kant. It would not be an exaggeration to suggest that De Quincey's epistemological scepticism is for Coleridge the unwanted double that his aesthetic and literary speculations attempt again and again to expel. This double is at its most insistent whenever the question of the legitimacy of Coleridge's aesthetic and literary theories arises. For example, if, as I have...

Natural Philosophy (Science)

Natural Philosophy (Science)   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
5,186 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...of nature and morality; but moral philosophy was also said to depend on observations and reasoning from experiments. Short, and circular, responses such as these immediately create unease, especially when the work, in the case of the Britannica , contained long articles (20–110 pages) on subjects such as astronomy, *botany , chemistry, mechanics, and optics. Indeed, the entries on ‘natural philosophy’ refer the reader to these articles on the various sciences. Hence the contemporary encyclopedias do not offer a simple account of the meaning of ‘natural...

Language

Language   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
5,614 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...politics of Diversions as an unfortunate excrescence rather than as an essential part of the book's theory of language. By representing Tooke's dialogues as contributions to ideas about the philosophy of mind, the socio-political implications of their materialism could be played down by reviewers. From this perspective, even conservative reviews like the British Critic could paint Diversions in a positive light. An important exception to this response was Dugald *Stewart . For Stewart, etymology was a dangerous science when it insisted on the material...

Exploration

Exploration   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
4,825 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...water. Descriptions that appear to deny the particularity of the situation and the writer's personal response may nevertheless founder around customs or events that resisted representation and interpretation. Indigenous gender relations, familial forms, and visually disorientating forms of indigenous art and bodily decoration such as tattooing, were in some cases simply beyond the reach of ethnographic languages available to exploratory writers. What the reader encounters, then, are expressions of puzzlement that place more emphasis on obscurity than the...

Medicine

Medicine   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
3,985 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...of the self, its analysis of unconscious processes and the complicated interworkings of self, psyche, and soma. Certain developments in medical theory and in fringe *medicine supported the Romantic collapsing of traditional mind–body dualisms, of the traditional Cartesian distinction between object and subject, and furthered the emphasis on a unitary self. Developing in Scotland from the 1750s, medical theories associated with Robert Whytt ( 1714–66 ), William Cullen ( 1710–90 ), and their followers saw health and disease as a function of the nerves....

Painting

Painting   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
5,778 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...invites our eye to travel along the pathways of a working mill and water-way on our left, and to potter around the picturesque foreground on our right. Contemporary writings on the arts tied such visual journeys to specific modes of reading. In the associationist theories of spectatorial response articulated by the Revd Archibald Alison ( 1757–1839 ) in his Essays on the Nature and Principles of Taste ( 1790 ), the viewer is encouraged to be stimulated by individual pictorial signs into a train of associations, both moral and intellectual. It is these...

Mythology

Mythology   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
4,714 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...mythology as ‘a physiology of nature written in a poetic-allegoric style’. Drawing on a long tradition of biblical scholarship, L'Origine pursued through six dense volumes the theory that all religions are based on a solar cult refined into a phallic and vaginal dualism. The publication of a one-volume abridgement in 1798 made Dupuis's theories much more accessible to general readers. Citing with approval the pantheism of the Brahmins alongside that of Pliny, Dupuis claimed that ‘Christians are but sun-worshippers, and their priests follow the very same...

24 The History of the Book in Germany

24 The History of the Book in Germany   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the Book

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Social sciences
Length:
10,033 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Illustration(s):
2

...such as Johann Joachim Eschenburg ’s Brittisches Museum für die Deutschen ( 1777–80 ). Noteworthy, too, are some early journals for women readers, including Johann Georg Jacobi ’s Iris ( 1774–6 ), Christian Gottfried Schütz ’s Akademie der Grazien ( 1774–80 ), and many others, most of them short-lived. By publishing texts and reviews, these journals encouraged a love of literature and sharpened readers’ critical faculties. Altogether 2,191 journals of all kinds began publication between 1766 and 1790 —three times as many as in the previous 25...

Sensibility

Sensibility   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
7,039 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...blaming novels for an ‘alarming increase of prostitutes’ in 1790 . By definition, sentimental fiction was intended to stimulate readers to feel. Moralists simply wished to turn this power to reformation rather than allow it to further the individual pursuit of pleasure. For many women, sexual relations entailed denigration and the threat of brutalization, pregnancy, and disease. By contrast, fictional heroes stayed in the reader's control; they were shown respecting women's feelings—indeed, respecting women's definition of masculinity—and responding to them...

Land

Land   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
4,951 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...of John *Constable . Thomas *Gains-borough , George *Morland , and Thomas *Bewick . Farther afield, in rural areas outside central England, in the Lake District, and in Wales, lay the space where the sublime might supervene over the picturesque, offering to visitors or to readers of poetry the experience of the overwhelming differences between Self and Nature. So one might get a taste of the vertiginous and unencompassable depth of the visible world, as Wordsworth did upon Mount Snowdon, viewing the ‘gloomy breathingplace’ where ‘Mounted the roar of...

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