ERIC Number: ED124995
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
What's at the Bottom of Literature?
Mandel, Barrett J.
A work of literature has no hidden meanings; everything needed for complete understanding is contained within the text. A failure to perceive sense in literature is not a permanent situation, however, nor is the work itself a static phenomenon. The perception of meaning may vary according to the reader's experience, but, strictly speaking, a superficial reading does not denote superficiality on the part of a poem, but rather a failure on the part of the reader to perceive the myriad meanings of the words involved. Illumination for the reader may be encouraged by a teacher, but a personal interpretation, based on careful reading, is essential if the student is to directly experience the literature. Teaching techniques described as "listening" and "bracketing," focusing on the specific meanings of the text itself and directing attention away from irrelevant external assumptions, can promote reader awareness. (KS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Secondary School English Conference (Boston, April 2-4, 1976)