The Implied Reader

The Implied Reader : Patterns of Communication in Prose Fiction from Bunyan to Beckett

3.97 (47 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Like no other art form, the novel confronts its readers with circumstances arising from their own environment of social and historical norms and stimulates them to assess and criticize their surroundings. By analyzing major works of English fiction ranging from Bunyan, Fielding, Scott, and Thackeray to Joyce and Beckett, renowned critic Wolfgang Iser here provides a framework for a theory of such literary effects and aesthetic responses. Iser's focus is on the theme of discovery, whereby the reader is given the chance to recognize the deficiencies of his own existence and the suggested solutions to counterbalance them. The content and form of this discovery is the calculated response of the reader -- the implied reader. In discovering the expectations and presuppositions that underlie all his perceptions, the reader learns to "read" himself as he does the text.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 318 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 20.07mm | 454g
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • English
  • No
  • 0801821509
  • 9780801821509
  • 322,083

Back cover copy

Like no other art form, the novel confronts its readers with circumstances arising from their own environment of social and historical norms and stimulates them to assess and criticize their surroundings. By analyzing major works of English fiction ranging from Bunyan, Fielding, Scott, and Thackeray to Joyce and Beckett, renowned critic Wolfgang Iser here provides a framework for a theory of such literary effects and aesthetic responses.

Iser's focus is on the theme of discovery, whereby the reader is given the chance to recognize the deficiencies of his own existence and the suggested solutions to counterbalance them. The content and form of this discovery is the calculated response of the reader -- the implied reader. In discovering the expectations and presuppositions that underlie all his perceptions, the reader learns to "read" himself as he does the text.
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Review quote

When the present flurry of works on theory of narrative fiction comes to an end... this seems likely to be one of the survivors. -- Frank Kermode * Times Literary Supplement * Well-written, scholarly, perceptive... A basic framework for a rational theory of literary effects and responses based on the novel. * Library Journal *
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Rating details

47 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 38% (18)
4 23% (11)
3 36% (17)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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