The Reader, the Text, the Poem: The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work / Edition 1

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This important new work brings a fresh and carefully elaborated theory of the literary work of art to the current re­discovery of the reader—that of the concept, based on the transactional point of view, of the two-way process involved in eliciting a literary work of art from a text. Dr. Rosenblatt draws on her long experience as a scholar and teacher of English and Comparative Lit­erature. Amply illustrating her theo­retical points, she provides contrasting interpretations of a number of varied texts, discusses other critical ap­proaches, and makes reference to recent philosophical developments.

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Editorial Reviews

****A reprint of the SIU Press original of 1978 with a new (1 p.) preface. That 1978 edition is cited in BCL3. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
"The Reader, the Text, the Poem is a major contribution to literary and critical theory. It should be read, reread, and reflected on by anyone involved with the activity of reading."—Alan M. Hollingsworth, College English

"This book should be studied by everybody interested in teaching, in the fate of literary works in the classroom, and in the welfare of children and young people in their school-imposed encounters with texts."—Wallace Douglas, CEA Critic

"Louise M. Rosenblatt’s The Reader, the Text, the Poem is an extraordinary resource for all teachers and scholars in the humanities."—Steven Mailloux, University of California at Irvine

"Louise Rosenblatt’s work helps classroom teachers understand how children’s background experiences shape the meanings they create from books."—Bernice E. Cullinan, New York University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809318056
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 527,562
  • Lexile: 1410L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Louise M. Rosenblatt is a professor emerita of New York University. A graduate of Barnard College, where she taught for some years, she received a doctorate in comparative literature from the Sorbonne. Some of the awards she has received are the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Great Teacher Award from New York University, the Russell Award for Distinguished Research from the National Council of Teachers of English, and Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Arizona. She is a member of the International Reading Association Reading Hall of Fame. Her other publications include Literature as Exploration, L’Idée de l’Art pour l’Art, Reading in an Age of Mass Communication (with W. S. Gray et al.), and numerous chapters and articles on literary theory.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition
1 The Invisible Reader 1
2 The Poem as Event 6
3 Efferent and Aesthetic Reading 22
4 Evoking a Poem 48
5 The Text: Openness and Constraint 71
6 The Quest for "the Poem Itself" 101
7 Interpretation, Evaluation, Criticism 131
Epilogue: Against Dualisms 176
Notes 193
Index 203
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