ERIC Number: ED165145
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: N/A
The Reader, the Text, the Poem: The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work.
Rosenblatt, Louise M.
Transactional literary theory centers on the reader's contribution in the two-way relationship with the literary text, lifting the reader to a prominent, essential position along with the author and the text. It develops the premise that the reader evokes a literary work through selective attention to the details of the author's "paper and ink." Two types of reading are distinguished: "efferent" reading refers to what the reader "carries away" from the reading event (information, facts, solutions, required actions), while "aesthetic" reading refers to the feelings, attitudes, and ideas aroused in the reader during the actual reading. The degree to which readers use efferent or aesthetic reading activities affects their conception of the literary transaction. As examples from various types of literature show, these elements of transactional literary theory explain how readers evoke a poem, understand the openness or constraints inherent in particular texts, and interpret, appreciate, criticize, and most of all personalize the literary value of the text they read. The final result that transactional literary theory intends, then, is not so much to understand the completeness of a book as to understand the completeness of the reader. (RL)
Descriptors: Content Area Reading, Critical Reading, Impressionistic Criticism, Literary Criticism, Literature, Literature Appreciation, Poetry, Responses, Theories
Southern Illinois University Press, Post Office Box 3697, Carbondale, Illinois 62901 ($10.95 cloth)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A