Thursday, June 7, 2012

Interpreting Literature

Question: What are two significantly different methods of interpreting literary texts?

Answer/Quote: “Unlike the New Critics, who emphasized the objectivity of the text, reader-response critics argue that a literary work cannot be understood ap0art from its effects. They contend that a work’s ‘effects, psychological and otherwise, are essential to any accurate description of its meaning, since that meaning has no effective existence outside of its realization in the mind of a reader’ (Tomkins, 1980). From this perspective, meaning is viewed not as a property of the text but as a product of the reader’s activity and the text.” P. 56.

Comment: Both perspectives are useful in interpreting literary works. RayS.

Title: “The Effects of Genre and Tone on Undergraduate Students’ Preferred Patterns of Response to Two Short Stories and Two Poems.” Jane A Zaharias. Research in the Teaching of English (February 1986), 56-68.

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