ERIC Number: ED199731
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Ideal Reader and the Ideal Writer: Affective Stylistics and the Writing Process.
Although the acts of reading literature and writing are closely linked, literature study and composition instruction remain distinct pursuits within college English departments. Style seems to be an interest that unifies the two pursuits. The most common view of style equates it with acceptable rhetorical and grammatical conventions. A second view divides style into hierarchical levels of formal, informal, and colloquial, depending on the audience. Both views hold that style is separable from content. A third view defines style as a choice of alternative language structures. One theorist argues that if form and content are indivisible, literary analysis may allow no alternative phrasing, but that composition teachers must be guided in stylistic matters by the dualist theory of choice, so students will be aware of the existence of different ways to say the same thing. But rather than seeking an equivalent phrase to say the same thing, the stylist seeks the unique phrase that precisely captures the expressive effect intended. Thus, effect or audience response plays a role in style. An "ideal" reader is one who is aware of the variety of potential effects of a prose passage. Since such ideal reading requires a text of ideal writing, a view of prose style as choice for effect as well as meaning is as consequential to composition as readability, clarity, and appropriateness. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Awareness; Reader Response; Rhetorical Theory; Stylistics
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (32nd, Dallas, TX, March 26-28, 1981).