Reader-Response Theory in the American Literary Criticism of 60–80’s of XX century (genesis, structure, functioning)

Анісімова, Людмила Вікторівна (2014) Reader-Response Theory in the American Literary Criticism of 60–80’s of XX century (genesis, structure, functioning) PhD thesis, Київський унів. ім. Бориса Грінченка.

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Abstract

Dissertation for the degree of candidate of philological sciences, specialty 10.01.06 – The theory of literature. – Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University, Kyiv, 2014. The research is devoted to the studying of Reader-response theory (RRT) genesis, structure and functioning in American literary criticism in 60–80’s of XX century. The basic principles of it were analyzed and the philosophical, political, and socio-cultural backgrounds are revealed. The main causes of its emergence at the end of 1960-s and functioning in 70–80-s are denoted. The close connection of basic principles of pragmatism with the main RRT proponents’ approaches is defined. RRT is proved to be a bright example of application the philosophy of pragmatism to the literary criticism. The historical, social, cultural and political factors of RRT origin are determined. The comparative analysis with Constance school of reception aesthetics is carried out; the main generalities, distinctive features and interrelations are noted. One of the aims of our research is to accomplish the comparative analysis of two powerful in the USA literary critical movements of XX century: New Criticism and RRT. Their features, main contradictions, common ideas, points of coincidence, reasons of emergence and decline, degree of influence to the development of theoretical and critical process and value for contemporary science are revealed. Though in majority of literary guides and glossaries are pointed that RRT stands in total opposition to the hegemony of formalistic New Criticism and as the reaction to assay Affective fallacy of W.K. Wimsatt and M. Beardsley in late 1960’s and early 70’s in the USA. We are of the view, that L.M. Rosenblatt should considered to be the founder of American RRT and her book Literature as Exploration (1938) is the pioneer work in reader-oriented criticism. It is interesting that both New critics and Reader-response theorists considered the book of I.A. Richards’ Practical Criticism (1929) as the important basis for their theories, but accenting different aspects. Therefore to a certain extent these theories from the beginnings have got common source, but different vectors of development and time of growth. The main classifications of RRT by N.N. Holland and L.M. Rosenblatt are represented, analyzed and compared. Also common and distinctive features of New Criticism and RRT are defined. In general the most suitable for practical use is L.M. Rosenblatt’s transactional theory of reading, in which the same attention is paid both to the reader and the text, and meaning is evoking during the process of transaction between them. Stanley Fish as the proponent of Reader-response theory was one of the first who challenged the authority of the fundamental doctrine of New Criticism, so called “affective fallacy” in late 1960’s. In his early RRT (Affective stylistics) S. Fish argues that the meaning of the literary work is an experience the reader received in the process of reading. Later on the notion “interpretive communities” was represented and proved in the essay Interpreting the ‘Variorum’, and response became the result of interpretive strategies. Theories of psychoanalytical approaches of N.N. Holland (transactive criticism) and D. Bleich (subjective criticism) are studied and compared in details. The conception of the reader and reading in literary theory of J. Culler in context of Structuralism, Post-structuralism and Deconstruction are defined. The connection between Reader-response theory and structuralistic approach of J. Culler is proved. His impact to the development and functioning of RRT is defined. One chapter deals with the research of the basic principles of empiricism in Reader-response theory within the environment of American and European literary criticism, beginning with I.A. Richards as its important precursor and ending with contemporary empirical researchers (W. van Peer, D.S. Miall & D. Kuiken) as its indirect successors. During the long period of time in literary criticism, from I.A. Richards, through the theories of Reader-response theorists to contemporary empirical study of literature, the principles of empiricism and empirical methodology were developing and improving in progression. The chapter also deals with the reasons of development in literary criticism of the USA the theories, which have the (a) reader/reader community as the object of research, and the problem of RRT as literary critical “(neo)anthropocentric” movement/formation is analyzed. Its relations with anthropology, psychology and philosophy are studied. The history and peculiarities of interdisciplinary terminological adoption in American RRT in the context of general tendencies and trends to interdisciplinary studies in science and culture are examined.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Reader-response theory; American literary criticism; the category of the reader; interpretation; subjective paradigm; transaction; metacriticism
Subjects: Abstracts > Спецради Університету
Divisions: Institutes > Humanitarian Institute > Chair of World Literature
Depositing User: Людмила Анісімова
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2015 05:59
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 08:08
URI: http://elibrary.kubg.edu.ua/id/eprint/5476

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