ERIC Number: ED209667
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work: Implications for Research.
Rosenblatt, Louise M.
The tendency to think of a literary work as an object or entity existing apart from author and reader has been the greatest stumbling block in literary criticism and the teaching of literature. The transaction between a reader and a text involves the reader in a highly complex, ongoing process of selection and organization. Keeping the reader's active process of evocation of the work central will have important implications for questions raised and methods used in both teaching and research. However, little has been done to help the student assimilate the aesthetic mode of relating to a text. Students need to learn to select and handle both the referents of the verbal signs and what they trigger within themselves. More studies are needed on the actual literary transaction or reading event. There is also a need for research on the differences between aesthetic and efferent (e.g., nonaesthetic, expository, or nonfictional) reading, at all levels, and on the kinds of elements in a written or oral response that can be judged to reflect the inward-looking, synthesizing activities leading to the crystallization of a sense of "the work." In both content analysis and intuitive study of responses, it is important to recognize that various factors will have affected what is expressed as a response. As for teaching, research should focus on the transactional model, with its emphasis on the total situation in which the relationship with the text occurs. Moreover researchers must realize that the community, the ethos of the school, the total curriculum, and the cumulative emphases of the literary texts presented are settings for any encounter between a reader and a text in a classroom. (HOD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Author Reader Relationship; Reader Response; Transactional Analysis
Note: Paper presented at the Buffalo Conference on Researching Response to Literature and the Teaching of Literature (Buffalo, NY, October 1977). Best copy available.