The Reader and the Text
Interpretative Strategies for Latin American Literatures
The shift toward the reader's task may be said to stem from a double source: the questioning of the sleuthlike approach to a text aiming at the discovery and explication of the author's intended meaning, coupled with the recognition that the work, liberated from its dependence on the authorial voice, will generate a wealth of meanings through acts of reading. Chapter 1 of this volume charts the conventions that operate at the threshold of the textual encounter as preliminary reading contracts which may shape ensuing operations. Chapter 2 shows the extent to which the reader's world knowledge is put to work in and by the decodification process. Chapter 3 sets out to outline how the reader's knowledge of genre and the intertextual repertoire is put to work. After exploring the areas that this hypothetical competence may cover, the study moves toward the related concept of performance in a final chapter entitled "Text Processing." Here again there is an assembly of perspectives through which the reading process is approached: the phenomenology of reading, text theory and semiotics, models of linguistic comprehension, and cognitive psychology have all been put to work in order to throw light on the complex operations presupposed by the act of reading.
[Purdue University Monographs in Romance Languages, 18] 1986. xi, 150 pp.
Publishing status: Available
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