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Your Guide to Multiple Reading Practices in Literature
This is the most fundamental concept for any study of Literature, or any art form for that matter, the concept of multiple reading experiences is basically a taxonomy of the different ways you can derive meaning from a text. Your natural reaction to anything in life is generally a judgment, a natural human desire to make sense of your surroundings…just as when applied to a reader’s response to literature, you can use a variety of established approaches to make sense of texts.
A Dominant Reading typically provides a reading of a text that reflects a broad consensus about what the text might mean, such a reading usually places great emphasis on how the reader believes the author to respond to them. The reader usually reads the text in an “author-friendly” way, although I’ve always been puzzled as to how the reader determines what the intended meaning of the text is. It continues as a type of reading that involves the reader’s journey along a trajectory designed by the author to create the meaning intended by the author. It is my personal opinion that this is simply the “mainstream” interpretation of the text, and that it gains the de facto legitimacy of “authorship verified” by sheer weight of numbers.
An Alternative Reading, as the name suggests, creates a different meaning than the dominant reading, but nonetheless recognizes the author’s intent in the text and does not go against the “grain” of the text. The difference between Alternative Reading and Continuous Reading is probably that Alternative Reading is still very text-dependent, while Continuous Reading requires more ideological or contextual baggage that the reader uses to challenge the premise of the text. .
Resistive reading ‘contradicts the elegance of the text’ and usually involves the reader relying less on the text and is usually more contextually influenced; in terms of ideology, race, class or gender.
Feminist reading foregrounds representations of women: by this I mean how the main female characters are characterized and the values they hold and the reader’s position to respond to them.
Judith Fetterly, author of The Resisting Reader, a seminal work on feminist and other recent developments in alternative readings, summarized the purpose of feminist reading: “Feminist criticism is not merely an interpretation of the world, but a political act. to change it by changing it”.
A basic assumption of any Feminist Reading is the reader’s awareness or “consciousness” of patriarchal hegemony that reinforces a set of oppressive roles and expectations against women, and literature as part of the dominant discourse for most of human history. supported this oppression. Thus, the reader usually finds that in a feminist reading, the text is part of this cultural construction of oppressive gender roles, or attempts to subvert this patriarchal discourse.
Danger in Feminist Readings
The danger of constructing a feminist reading is not about the political differences and movement of feminism as an ideology. First, feminism is hardly an ideology, you can’t build a “feminist” axis because nobody knows what “feminism” means. This is because of the different political backgrounds and social agendas represented by First Wave Feminism, Second Wave Feminism, and Third Wave Feminism.
Second, feminist readings cannot and should not be limited to superficial readings of character values, or rather how character values are constructed by the text and whether this constitutes a “liberal” or “parochial” attitude toward the role of women.
Feminist criticism is closely related to Freudian psychoanalysis, as can be seen in Anne K Mellor’s feminist study of Frankenstein. It focuses on psycho-sexual developments, phallocentric discourse and motifs in the text. This study finds great and complex meaning in the placement of images in the text and their sexual relations, clearly feminist readings must consider more than character and plot. In fact, a feminist reading must analyze the subliminal of the text through the construction, placement, and sequence of images; thereby providing a more definitive and profound result for the politics of feminism.
Feminist theory is not party politics, but a politics centered around a broader study of the exercise of power. This means that the text cannot be isolated from its political period, and the reading itself must find political meaning about the system that enforces certain gender relations.
This reading practice focuses on depictions of race, particularly the relationship between colonizers and the colonized, Post-Colonial literature is a vast body of work that often provides a shared theme of “sometimes writing,” or providing a voice for the voiceless. Often Post Colonial readings will focus on the impact of colonialism and the colonial or imperial ideologies that underlie colonialism. Postcolonial readings can identify constructions of the “other” in texts, perhaps symbolized by a marginalized character or condition.
Postcolonial readings are strongly linked to Marxist theory, best seen in the repeated use of the term “subaltern” in postcolonial discourse, coined by the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. The term was coined by Ranajit Guha, a prominent Post Colonial scholar of Indian origin, a pioneer of the ‘subaltern studies group’. The term covers the current concerns of Post Colonial scholars, Ranajit Guha and his school have explored how Post Colonial power structures such as the Indian State, after the British granted independence in 1947, still relied on the same ideas and political space as the British. Raj. This led to the central concern of Post Colonial scholars with history as the story of the victors and their political intentions to change history, this time taking into account the voices of the oppressed and marginalized. Postcolonial readings thus share a Marxist concern with oppression and the voice of the marginalized.
However, Post Colonial readings are more concerned with language as a means of reinforcing and implementing colonial ideology and intent. Rushdie suggests that the Post Colonial author wants to “conquer” the language that oppresses his people.
The challenges facing postcolonial reading are best explored in Gayatri Spivak Charkravorty’s landmark essay Can the Subaltern Speak, where she explores the role of the Post Colonial reader and his authority to articulate the voice of the subaltern. He concludes that the subaltern cannot be translated by anyone other than the subaltern, so postcolonial readings are limited in uncovering real representations of “subjugation” or othering.
Marxist readings emphasize this relationship between ‘Basic’ and ‘Superstructure’; The base refers to the economic system of society, which Marx suggests is best reflected in the relationship between employers and labor and the superstructure, particularly with reference to social institutions and literature. Thus, Marxist theory defines Literature as part of this social superstructure; the literature that suggests it is influenced by and in turn influenced by the economic “basis” of society. This is the essence of Marxist Reading, which identifies the influence of the economic and political system on the text and vice versa.
This is achieved by focusing on representations of the working class or proletariat, and representations of the bourgeoisie or middle class/employers and their interrelationship in the text. Another important aspect is class awareness, to what extent does the text promote class awareness? To what extent does personality depend on class? To what extent does the text suggest justice or injustice within a particular economic system? Does the text encourage change (revolution) in these attitudes and constructions? that is, revolutionary consciousness
A very complex reading strategy, I admit, I have only a very rudimentary understanding… The bare mention of Freud and Lacan is enough to confuse me… I suppose Freud’s reading of the Greek myth Oedipus is probably a demonstration. Freud’s reading of oedipus his theory of oedipus affects child development Psychoanalytic Readings and Cross-Purposes of Psychoanalysis, etc. they put forward their theories
Psychoanalytic readings focus specifically on symbolism within a text and usually analyze the author or a specific character in some depth. The main foundations of this reading practice is to imagine the text as a dream, and the purpose of this reading practice is to extract real meaning from this dream by following an analytical process that pays attention to symbols, language and characterization.
Perhaps the most fun approach is to break the text in your own interpretation, perhaps synthesizing some of the above approaches, but this method usually focuses most on the personal context, the reader’s engagement with the text, and its impact. his own context in the way he responds.
Contextual/New Historian Reading
Emphasis is placed on the historical context of the text and its place in the wider literary movement, as well as the placement of the author in his own context; this approach reinforces the importance of understanding the influence of society on the author and the context of reception of the text as a means of making sense. This reading experience focuses on the author’s biases, showing the importance of understanding the author’s psychology and influences. Another important aspect is to recognize the critic’s bias and let readers know their own context and how it affects their reading.
This experience is related not only to the text, but also to the authorship and reception of the text, and more so to those around them.
If your English literature exam has a “close reading” section or a section where you have to critically analyze an unseen text… You’ve got new critics to blame!
A reaction against the practices of new historicism which emphasize the linguistic, historical, political and social context and place of the text instead of the actual text. In the academic circles of the time, it was the task of commercial critics to analyze the text, and the task of academics was to place the text in the literary canon from the point of view of politics. New Criticism rejected this emphasis with extratextuality.
The New Criticism was profound in reviving the way we look at the text. Beardsley and Wimsatt’s 1954 essay “Deliberate Fallacy” suggested that readers misunderstand a text in terms of the author’s political or social context or presumed intent. Deliberate inaccuracy has seen the end of readings that try to ‘fit’ texts into what we know about the author, for example readings of George Bernard Shaw’s works have often succumbed to poor analysis of the individual text and gone instead to easier ‘socialist’ readings. Sean’s connection with the Fabian society. For the new critic, this was unacceptable, the text should be analyzed on its own, it had “autonomy of meaning”.
Other new concepts they pioneered include the heresy of paraphrase, the idea that you can’t “quote” a text arbitrarily because the quote only makes sense as an organic part of the whole text, without meaning outside of that context. Another of their concepts was the “affective fallacy,” in other words, confusing what a text “makes you feel” with what it means. They were concerned with paradox, irony, and complexity in the text, which could be combined into one superior, coherent reading. In the light of this poem, they believed that it is the most beautiful and worthy form of literature.
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