Reader-Response Approach: Critical Concepts and Methodology in Phenomenological Reading Theory

نوع مقاله: مقاله پژوهشی

نویسنده

گروه زبان و ادبیات کردی، دانشکده زبان و ادبیات، دانشگاه کردستان، سنندج، ایران

چکیده

Background: Reader-oriented approach met its climax in cultural and literary theory in the late 1970s. Its origins could be traced back to the early 1930s when attention to the reading process emerged as a reaction against the rejection of the reader’s role in creating meaning. From a philosophical view, reader-oriented criticism has its roots in Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology and Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutics. As with Husserl’s ‘bracketing’ of the real object, the actual historical context of the text, its author, conditions of production and readership are ignored; however, phenomenological criticism aims at a wholly ‘immanent’ reading of the text, thoroughly unaffected by anything outside it.
 
Purpose: The present study, while demonstrating the critical concepts and methodology of the reception theory, seeks to shed light on the significant role played by the reader in the corresponding approaches.   
 
Method: The present study compatibly provides a close analysis which consists of selection and discussion of theoretical and descriptive material as well as a detailed comparison of theories in terms of their applicability. The research method of the present paper is thus library-based and categorized as theoretical study; correspondingly, the present paper will be entirely literature-based in that, in the academic library research, the conclusions are based on the analysis of data of a particular area.
 
Findings: Louise M. Rosenblatt’s categorization of Efferent and Aesthetic Readings, and her concepts of Determinate and Indeterminate Meanings proved to be of central significance to the reader-oriented approach. Similarly, Hans Robert Juass’s ‘Horizons of Expectation’ and his idea concerning three ways of reaction to the texts including Negation, Assimilation, and Creation, together with Wolfgang Iser’s dichotomy of the Implied and Actual Reader and his innovative concepts of Concretization and Gaps played a highly influential role in the development of this approach. Moreover, attention should be paid to major contemporary figures including Stanley Fish and his notion of Affective Stylistics and Interpretive Community, Norman Holland and the idea of threefold stages of reading including Defense-Fantasy-Transformation, David Bleich and his definition of Experience-Oriented Interpretations, and Gerald Prince with his concept of triplet Real-Virtual-Ideal Readers.
 
Results: Reader-response theory could be categorized into several modes including:
1) “Transactional” approach used by Louise Rosenblatt and Wolfgang Iser
2) “Historical context” favored by Hans Robert Juass
3) “Affective stylistics” presented by Stanley Fish
4) “Psychological” approach employed by Norman Holland
5) “Subjective” approach in the work of David Bleich
6) “Social” approach in the mature works of Stanley Fish
7) “Textual” approach in the work of Gerald Prince
 
Implications: The mechanism of the process of reading could be more elaborated if explored in terms of the main concepts of the approaches of the reception theory. 
 
Originality: The present study emphasizes the role played by the “reader” in the reading process and the significance of the reader in the construction of meaning, which has been argued for in all the approached investigated.

کلیدواژه‌ها

موضوعات


عنوان مقاله [English]

Reader-Response Approach: Critical Concepts and Methodology in Phenomenological Reading Theory

نویسنده [English]

  • Bakhtiar Sadjadi
Kurdish Language Department, Language Faculty, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran
چکیده [English]

Background: Reader-oriented approach met its climax in cultural and literary theory in the late 1970s. Its origins could be traced back to the early 1930s when attention to the reading process emerged as a reaction against the rejection of the reader’s role in creating meaning. From a philosophical view, reader-oriented criticism has its roots in Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology and Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutics. As with Husserl’s ‘bracketing’ of the real object, the actual historical context of the text, its author, conditions of production and readership are ignored; however, phenomenological criticism aims at a wholly ‘immanent’ reading of the text, thoroughly unaffected by anything outside it.
 Purpose: The present study, while demonstrating the critical concepts and methodology of the reception theory, seeks to shed light on the significant role played by the reader in the corresponding approaches.   
 Method: The present study compatibly provides a close analysis which consists of selection and discussion of theoretical and descriptive material as well as a detailed comparison of theories in terms of their applicability. The research method of the present paper is thus library-based and categorized as theoretical study; correspondingly, the present paper will be entirely literature-based in that, in the academic library research, the conclusions are based on the analysis of data of a particular area.
 Findings: Louise M. Rosenblatt’s categorization of Efferent and Aesthetic Readings, and her concepts of Determinate and Indeterminate Meanings proved to be of central significance to the reader-oriented approach. Similarly, Hans Robert Juass’s ‘Horizons of Expectation’ and his idea concerning three ways of reaction to the texts including Negation, Assimilation, and Creation, together with Wolfgang Iser’s dichotomy of the Implied and Actual Reader and his innovative concepts of Concretization and Gaps played a highly influential role in the development of this approach. Moreover, attention should be paid to major contemporary figures including Stanley Fish and his notion of Affective Stylistics and Interpretive Community, Norman Holland and the idea of threefold stages of reading including Defense-Fantasy-Transformation, David Bleich and his definition of Experience-Oriented Interpretations, and Gerald Prince with his concept of triplet Real-Virtual-Ideal Readers.
 Results: Reader-response theory could be categorized into several modes including:
1) “Transactional” approach used by Louise Rosenblatt and Wolfgang Iser
2) “Historical context” favored by Hans Robert Juass
3) “Affective stylistics” presented by Stanley Fish
4) “Psychological” approach employed by Norman Holland
5) “Subjective” approach in the work of David Bleich
6) “Social” approach in the mature works of Stanley Fish
7) “Textual” approach in the work of Gerald Prince
 Implications: The mechanism of the process of reading could be more elaborated if explored in terms of the main concepts of the approaches of the reception theory. 
 Originality: The present study emphasizes the role played by the “reader” in the reading process and the significance of the reader in the construction of meaning, which has been argued for in all the approached investigated.

کلیدواژه‌ها [English]

  • Reader-response approach
  • Phenomenology
  • Interpretation
  • Reading
  • text
  • implied reader
  • actual reader