The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook


Iser examines what happens during the reading process, and how it is basic to the development of a theory of aesthetic response, setting in motion a chain of events that depends both on the text and the exercise of certain human faculties.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801823718
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 2/19/1980
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 1,350,483
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
I. The Situation: Literary Interpretation: Semantics or Pragmatics?
1. Partial Art--Total Interpretation 3
Henry James, The Figure in the Carpet, in Place of an Introduction 3
The Lingering of the Classical Norm of Interpretation 10
2. The Rudiments of a Theory of Aesthetic Response 20
The Reader-Oriented Perspective and Traditional Objections 20
Readers and the Concept of the Implied Reader 27
Psychoanalytical Theories of Literary Response 38
II. The Reality of Fiction: A Functionalist Model of the Literary Text
3. The Repertoire 53
Starting Point 53
Speech-Act Theory 54
Situation-Building 62
The Referential System of the Repertoire 68
4. Strategies 86
The Task of the Strategies 86
The Old Answer: Deviation 87
Foreground and Background 92
The Structure of Theme and Horizon 96
Variations of the Theme-and-Horizon Structure 99
III. Phenomenology of Reading: The Processing of the Literary Text
5. Grasping a Text 107
Interplay between Text and Reader 107
The Wandering Viewpoint 108
Correlatives Produced by the Wandering Viewpoint 118
Consistency-Building as a Basis for Involvement in the Text as an Event 118
The Text as an Event 125
Involvement as a Condition of Experience 129
6. Passive Syntheses in the Reading Process 135
Mental Images as a Basic Feature of Ideation 135
Mental Images Affecting the Reader 139
Building Images 140
What Happens to the Reader? 152
IV. Interaction Between Text and Reader: The Communicatory Structure of the Literary Text
7. Asymmetry Between Text and Reader 163
Conditions of Interaction 163
Ingarden's Concept of Indeterminacy 170
8. How Acts of Constitution Are Stimulated 180
Introduction 180
The Blank as a Potential Connection 182
The Functional Structure of the Blanks 195
Historical Differences in the Structure of Interaction 203
Negation 212
Negativity 225
Name and Title Index 233
Subject Index 236
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