Reader-response Criticism - Objections


Reader-response critics hold that in order to understand a text, one must look to the processes readers use to create meaning and experience. Traditional text-oriented schools, such as formalism (literature), often think of reader-response criticism as an anarchic subjectivism, allowing readers to interpret a text any way they want. Text-oriented critics claim that one can understand a text while remaining immune to one's own culture, status, personality, and so on, and hence "objectively."

To reader-response based theorists, however, reading is always both subjective and objective. Some reader-response critics (uniformists) assume a bi-active model of reading: the literary work controls part of the response and the reader controls part. Others, who see that position as internally contradictory, claim that the reader controls the whole transaction (individualists). In such a reader-active model, readers and audiences use amateur or professional procedures for reading (shared by many others) as well as their personal issues and values.

Another objection to reader-response criticism is that it fails to account for the text being able to expand the reader's understanding. While readers can and do put their own ideas and experiences into a work, they are at the same time gaining new understanding through the text. This is something that is generally overlooked in reader-response criticism.

Some argue that 'artworks' are now purposely being fabricated which lack meaning but rather the 'artworks' are fabricated only to generate a reader response. The reader response then is corralled via interpretative communities. Reader response rather than handing a freedom to the reader empowers the leaders of an interpretative community against the reader. The reader has no ground to evaluate the 'artwork' as the artwork is senseless. Only a reader response, basically an emotive response, is legitimate. The Web provides an ideal way to form such interpretative communities. The power of reader response strategy is that people are fundamentally 'hungry' for culture and will attempt to impart meaning even to artworks that are senseless. Of course, people can always opt out of these interpretative communities centered around senseless artworks with little to no loss via-a-vis culture and almost certainly a cultural gain.

Read more about this topic:  Reader-response Criticism

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Famous quotes containing the word objections:

    Miss Western: Tell me, child, what objections can you have to the young gentleman?
    Sophie: A very solid objection, in my opinion. I hate him.
    Miss Western: Well, I have known many couples who have entirely disliked each other, lead very comfortable, genteel lives.
    John Osborne (1929–1994)