INTERACTION BETWEEN TEXT AND READER WOLFGANG ISER PDF

Biography[ edit ] Wolfgang Iser was born in Marienberg , Germany. His parents were Paul and Else Steinbach Iser. A year later, Iser was appointed as an instructor at Heidelberg and in as an assistant lecturer at the University of Glasgow. There, Iser began to explore contemporary philosophy and literature, which deepened his interest in inter-cultural exchange. He subsequently lectured in many other parts of the world, including Asia and Israel.

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Iser posits an active role for readers, who participate in the meaning-making process of textual creation through the act of reading. For Iser, reading is propelled by the reactions and responses of readers.

Still, the interactions are in large part determined by the subjectivity of the reader. This subjective element, however, cannot overdetermine the interaction that takes place and Iser is careful to frequently warn against assuming that interpretations and texts "[disappear] into the private world of [their] individual readers.

For Iser, literary texts require readers to actualize them and the fulfillment of the potential reading of a text which is actualized represents a kind of conversation between the text and the reader: "The literary text, then, exists primarily as a means of communication, while the process of reading is basically a kind of dyadic interaction" Act, This communication should not be viewed as uni-directional.

Rather than a text delivering some kind of message to a reader, the reader "is bound to insert his own ideas into the process of communication" Act, It is cybernetic in nature as it involves a feedback of effects and information throughout a sequence of changing situational frames; smaller units progressively merge into bigger ones, so that meaning gathers meaning in a kind of snowballing process.

The "feedback of effects and information" applies equally to readers and texts and constitutes small units of meaning or "situational frames" of reference which "merge" to form larger units of understanding. To demonstrate his model of reading based on recursive interaction between readers and text, Iser constantly refers to his own readings of literary texts. They do. In contrast to a modified reading which exists within an individual reader, interaction with WORP has the potential to produce a still recognizable modified text.

Note that the sample shown in the figure contains a total of nine annotations which have been added by readers. Each annotation is placed within the original text in the form of a hypertextual link shown in the left-hand frame as underlined phrases. WORP has allowed this reader, Courtney Lindsey , to record her interaction with the text in a way which is more concrete than that envisioned by Iser.

Rather, it offers ways of making public some of the processes that Iser finds worthwhile in the interactions between readers and texts. These processes remain an important part of the reading and "private" to Lindsey. What WORP has done is provide a mechanism for some of the connections that are developed during the reading process to be made explicit.

While Iser suggests that a reader and a text enter into a kind of conversation, WORP makes possible the extension of this dialogue to include other readers. This gloss function, however, represents only one level of interaction facilitated by the WORP project. Many of the other "reader response" functions enabled by WORP also beg future readers for further interactions.

For instance, the commentaries which are woven into the project by creating a discussion forum as an annotation allow the dialogue to refer to and begin with the original text and a single reader, but to broaden out to include any number of readers who might come later.

The potential for interaction to become participatory in this more communal way represents the possibility of moving interpretation beyond "the private world" to create a sense of meaning which is more concretely intersubjective.

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Key Theories of Wolfgang Iser

Iser posits an active role for readers, who participate in the meaning-making process of textual creation through the act of reading. For Iser, reading is propelled by the reactions and responses of readers. Still, the interactions are in large part determined by the subjectivity of the reader. This subjective element, however, cannot overdetermine the interaction that takes place and Iser is careful to frequently warn against assuming that interpretations and texts "[disappear] into the private world of [their] individual readers. For Iser, literary texts require readers to actualize them and the fulfillment of the potential reading of a text which is actualized represents a kind of conversation between the text and the reader: "The literary text, then, exists primarily as a means of communication, while the process of reading is basically a kind of dyadic interaction" Act,

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INTERACTION BETWEEN TEXT AND READER WOLFGANG ISER PDF

To Memorable Literature! Iser has an interesting moment on page , a few pages into the essay. No surprises here and none to follow, but he does articulate the situation admirably: What is concealed spurs the reader into action, but this action is also controlled by what is revealed; the explicit in its turn is transformed when the implicit has been brought to light" But since that explicit must be a re-creation that the reader carries in mind on the fly during reading, the explicit or elements thereof must contain something like what Kristeva describes as chora in Revolution in Poetic Language. That is, the system here would seem to be that the reader approaches with ideas relatively fixed by experience, and re-interprets the text in accord with these.

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