February 19, 2007

Subconscious Thoughts

Iser, ''Readers and the Concept of the Implied Reader'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Iser could not have started his essay with a more relevant quote than this:

"It has been said of Behme that his books are like a picnic to which the author brings the words and the reader the meaning."

To start off, the quote mentioned above makes absolute sense and while I was reading his essay the quote kept repeating itself in the back of my head. I, previously, did not think much about how readers "read" so I was excited to learn the differences of the "three types of 'contemporary' readers, which are
1.) The real and historical
2.) Is constructed from social and historical knwoledge of time
3.) Is extrapolated from the reader's role laid dowm in the text.

Iser explains that the meaning that the reader gets out of the words comes from the experience and education of that individual reader. What soemone gets out the words that are written on the text is all based on that readers personal experiences and education.

While I was thinking about Iser's essay, I think he has a good argument. For example, think about one book that you absolutely love and then ask someone, who has read the book, their feelings about the same book. Since everyone processes information differently, it may be your experiences that control what the reader likes and dislikes.

Posted by GinaBurgese at February 19, 2007 3:22 PM | TrackBack
Comments

"Since everyone processes information differently, it may be your experiences that control what the reader likes and dislikes"

That's right. I think that we we read something we like we tend to seek something in the book that we can relate too. I described in my blog that Iser seperate modern lit critics into three groups which I call the Three-Class Reading System.(http://blogs.setonhill.edu/KevinHinton/2007/02/the_threeclass.html)
And depending on which reader we are trying to become we have completely different meanings in the same story. I could give The Scarlett Letter to you, Dr. Jerz, and a high school freshman and all of you are bound to give me a different answer from the same book.

Posted by: Kevin "Kelo The Great" Hinton at February 20, 2007 2:05 AM

sorry the link did not work.....

Posted by: Kevin "Kelo The Great" Hinton at February 20, 2007 2:07 AM

I mentioned on my blog that this is by far my favorite article so far this semseter. I think that part of the reason is something that you hit upon. You said that "the reader gets out of the words comes from the experience and education of that individual reader." That is completely true! The educational background of a person can be different (even though standards are supposed to be similar across the country) just because of the area that they live in. That would give the reader a different perspective. Take, for example, a student that was in a bilingual high school in Florida and a student from a college prep school in Oregon and give them the same work. That work is going to read differently because of the simple background of the students. Great observations Gina!

Posted by: Tiffany at February 20, 2007 5:01 PM

I think that Iser is almost too smart for his own good. His points are so strong that they are almost irrefutable, but I think he wasted his brilliance on a fruitless endeavor. I'm not sure one can categorize readers into neat packages and assume that reponses will all be based upon these categories.

Posted by: Dave Moio at February 21, 2007 9:35 PM
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