February 18, 2007

I agree with [insert name of classmate]...

The introduction to this chapter really caught me off gaurd because I thought that reader-response was going to be really straight forward. What the reader says goes, right? Wrong! Apparently there is much more to it than I thought. However, one point did stand out to me. Keesey states, "If two or more readers should happento agree about an interpretation, this agreement could only arise because their 'identity themes' were so similar to begin with that they created very similar poems as they read" (136). All I could think about as I was reading this section was how many times during Major British Writers or American Literature I agreed with my classmates on their interpretations of a poem. Now, it wasn't always the same. Sometimes I saw something similar, but it was different nonetheless, but still for all the times I really did agree with someone else's interpretation I can't help but wonder if I was really working as a critic.

I know that these are the kinds of things that are supposed to be brought to our attention as we are reading, but I couldn't help second guessing myself. Another thought that keeps coming into my mind about reader-response is the difference between the reader and the "implied reader." I never knew that there could be two different types. Just before the quote from above is another quote that I wanted to mention. Keesey states, "Readers 'participate' in tehse to the extent that their own psychic imperatives allow, and to this extent the powm can 'work' for them" (136). I think that this is what people do when they read the poetry of their peers. Sometimes the poetry will work for them, other times it only works for the author, but then the author becomes a reader once the poem is written as well. I can't wait to read more about this because it seems like I may be able to understand this one.

Keesey, Ch 3 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at February 18, 2007 5:29 PM | TrackBack
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