Recent Posts

  • Sylvia Plath: Poetry and Survival

    A confessional poet, an extremist poet, a post-romantic poet, a pre-feminist poet, a suicidal poet – all these terms have been used (and are still being used) in attempts to define and explain Sylvia Plath’s writing. Some critics have seen… Read More ›

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  • Key Theories of Stanley Fish

    The Reader-Response Theorist, Stanley Fish (b. 1938), attempts to situate the reading process in a broader, institutional context. Fish’s earlier work, focusing on the reader’s experience of literary texts, included an important study of Milton, Surprised by Sin: The Reader… Read More ›

  • Key Theories of Wolfgang Iser

    Wolfgang Iser’s (1926-2007) theories of reader response were initially presented in a lecture of 1970 entitled The Affective Structure of the Text, and then in two major works, The Implied Reader (1972) and The Act of Reading (1976). After examining… Read More ›

  • Key Theories of Hans Robert Jauss

    The phenomenological method of Husserl and the hermeneutics of Heidegger paved the way for what became known as reception theory. One of the foremost figures of reception theory, Hans Robert Jauss (1921-1997), studied at the University of Heidelberg with the… Read More ›

  • Key Theories of Martin Heidegger

    Husserl’s student Martin Heidegger  (1889–1976) proved to be one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, and the major modern exponent of existentialism. His impact extends not only to existentialist philosophers such as Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and Simone de… Read More ›

  • Key Theories of Edmund Husserl

    Much reader-response theory had its philosophical origins in the doctrine known as phenomenology, whose foundations were laid by the German philosopher Edmund Husserl (1859–1938). The Greek word phainomenon means “appearance.” Hence, as a philosophical attitude, phenomenology shifts our emphasis of… Read More ›