February 15, 2007

Reading is a Spectator Sport

As unsatisfactory as this attitude may be to the reader, it is Keat's attitude.
Allen C. Austin "Toward Resolving Keat's Grecian Urn Ode"

Beyond a choose-your-own-adventure novel, the reader of a piece of literature has no input into what the text says. Austin's argument points this out very clearly; and it brought reflection papers to mind.
If the attitude of the reader has absolutely no place in the text, why respond? The answer came to me faster than I thought it would (and no, it wasn't because reflection papers are assigned writings). The reason readers respond and reflect on texts is because the reader's attitude is what matters to the reader.
True, the reader's attitude doesn't matter when it comes to the text, but if you are going to read, it's an individual event - so your attitude should matter.

Posted by Diana Geleskie at February 15, 2007 11:55 AM | TrackBack
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