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How should we think about interpreting literature?
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Both the reader and text determine meaning

Popularized by Louise M. Rosenblatt, this theory argues that the text and the reader make meaning together.

The Argument

According to this theory, meaning originates in the relationship between a text and its reader. A text's meaning depends on the reader's experience of it during the act of reading, not on the work as an independent, untouched object. Louise M. Rosenblatt is a key proponent of this perspective. Rosenblatt described the reading process as a transactional experience, in which the text prompts certain responses through its attributes. Readers then interpret these attributes depending on their experiences. Thus, the reader and text create meaning together, with neither holding a greater role in the interpretative process. Since each reader brings unique experiences to the text, they will all react differently to it and will each arrive at a one of a kind interpretation. In light of this, multiple interpretations of a given work are acceptable.

Counter arguments



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Sunday, 2 Aug 2020 at 18:51 UTC

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