Reception theory is a version of reader response literary theory that emphasizes each particular reader's reception or interpretation in making meaning from a literary text. Reception theory is generally referred to as audience reception in the analysis of communications models. In literary studies, reception theory originated from the work of Hans-Robert Jauss in the late s, and the most influential work was produced during the s and early s in Germany and the US Fortier , with some notable work done in other Western European countries. A form of reception theory has also been applied to the study of historiography. The cultural theorist Stuart Hall was one of the main proponents of reception theory, first developed in his essay 'Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse'. In essence, the meaning of a text is not inherent within the text itself, but is created within the relationship between the text and the reader.

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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies.

To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. The model points to the extra- and intra- literary criteria that determine the success or failure of a literary text. It seems from this study that there is an additional factor 1. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture and Value, ed. Peter Winch Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, , It is worth mentioning that the first two parts of this novel deal with the subject of creative writing and the relation between the writer and his readers in the process of receiving the novel.

What makes a novel a best seller is dealt with very attractively. Some references in this paper are links to sites in the internet as they portray the reception of the non-specialist public to this novel. It is concerned with the collective social effects of a work of art in a certain historical period, given the prevailing moral values and the cultural-sociological circumstances.

This theory was introduced by Hans Robert Jauss but was initially 4 neglected outside Germany. The responses to a literary work are modified in the process of reading and thus the whole literary-historical complex is 4. Along with the Reception Theory another approach appeared in the Konstanz School also.

This implies a rejection of an established canon of literature and a search for a liberal and dynamic formation of the canon. Reception Theory as a hermeneutical theory puts the public of readers in the center of the interactive relation between the literary text and its audience.

Readers are responsible for determining the meaning of the text, its value and its acceptance or rejection. Thus, the public gives the work of art its legitimacy.

For him, it is not sufficient to pay attention only to the socio-historical context as 5. Therefore, the reader always reads a work within some horizon of expectation.

Yet, sometimes the readers are not able to recognize the new aspects of a literary work and therefore show negative responses toward it or simply neglect it. Ltd, , Jauss is much more concerned with the productive, receptive and communicative aspects of the aesthetic experience. Only in this way does art achieve a positive social role. Only an avant-garde concept of art can survive, and artistic experience is autonomous only when it rids itself of pursuing pleasure.

By this, he emphasized the sensory experience and communicative interaction between art and its audience. Jauss saw his theory as a hermeneutical approach; therefore, he developed a process of interpreting a text which includes three stages: intelligere, interpretare, applicare understanding, interpretation and application.

It presents the communicative act between the reader and the text subject and 8. Jauss confesses that he goes further than Michael Riffaterre who developed his structural stylistics into a Semiotics of Poetry In return, Jauss seeks to divide this activity into the two hermeneutic acts, understanding and interpretation, in that he distinguishes reflective interpretation as the phase of a second reading from immediate understanding within aesthetic perception as the phase of the first reading.

See Ibid. Here we should return to the three steps that Jauss mentioned when he talked about the hermeneutical process. This direction is helpful in the pedagogical realm in the attempt to teach the students a 11 literary text. The use of Reception Theory in the pedagogical realm, taking into account the students as the reading public, will be dealt in another article supplied with examples from the modern Arabic short story.

In short, we examine the history of the reception of the text. The third direction combines within it also the first and the second aspects. Public readers are the consumers who buy the product and may enjoy or reject it. This means studying the literary work from two main perspectives: form and content. This fact points to the flexibility of the model that is always open to accept new indicators that serve well in explaining the reception of a literary work.

Many articles were written by specialists in literary criticism and by "the man in the street". Elizabeth M. The following are only a few examples:. Until now only the first and second parts of her Trilogy have been translated into more than five languages. Millions of copies official and pirated editions have been sold throughout the Arab world.

See for example in English: Ferial J. They enjoyed reading the novel and, since the first edition, have shown enthusiastic interest in her work. Their positive aesthetic judgment preceded the scholastic academic one.

She had written some poems in the s but since then had written nothing. The men's dubious response may be seen as an indicator of a patriarchal society. Nevertheless, he was astonished by the great enthusiasm shown by the reading public. The writer succeeded in portraying the situation of her homeland, Algeria, in its political, ideological and sociological aspects since colonialism and especially after gaining its independence.

As readers in the twenty-first century we can still feel and understand the consequences of the mentioned situation on the Arab world today. For example, the ideological conflict between moderate Islam and fundamentalist Islam is still a burning issue in most Arab states and it is one that the author tries to allude to indirectly. Algeria's struggle against foreign domination as well as its post- independence struggle with itself and the fate of revolutionary ideals in a post-revolutionary society also attracted numerous readers.

This is true especially when the writer frequently digresses into a theoretical contemplation of the theme of writing and analysis of a story within the story. Yet rumors may serve as a positive catalyst for readers who usually enjoy them and are curious to know more about the things that are surrounded with doubts. Moreover, at the political level, or the story of the homeland, Algiers, this distance is bridgeable.

Love and socio-politics are merged together in a distinguished poetic language. However, the theoretical analytical level, presented by the relationship between the narrator and the process of writing a novel metafiction , was not familiar to the Arab readers in the s and, therefore, it affected them negatively. Sometimes the public will enthusiastically acclaim a literary work before the academic critics do.

Intra-literary criteria have greater influence on the readers than do extra-literary criteria. Intra-literary criteria determine the aesthetic taste of the community of readers within a given place and time. The readers judge a literary work after reading it, though they may be initially influenced by the title of a book, an impressive cover and written accompanying comments.

Reception Theory and the proposed model of its application can be generalized to the literary criticism of any work of art — whether it be in the field of drama, music or painting. Ghazoul, Ferial J.

Hohendahl, Peter Uwe. The German Quarterly, Vol. Holt, Elizabeth M. Journal of Arabic Literature 28 , pp. Holub, Robert C. Reception Theory: A Critical Introduction. Ltd, Jauss, Hans Robert. New Literary History 2 Winter In: Timothy Bahti trans. Toward an Aesthetic of Reception. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics. Michael Shaw. Introduction by Wlad Godzich.

In: Michael Hays ed. Question and Answer: Forms of Dialogic Understanding. In: James L. Machor and Philip Goldstein eds. Reception Study. New York, London: Routledge, Jensen, Kim.

Aljadid Spring Katib, Hakim. Forum Algerie. Lane, Jeremy. Julian Wolfreys ed. McDougall, James. Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 30 , pp. McLarney, Ellen. Journal of Arabic Literature 33 1 , pp. Stampfl, Tanja.


Reception Theory: A Brief Note

Hans Robert Jauss is a professor of literary criticism and romance philology at the University of Constance in Germany. Jauss co-founded the University of Constance and the Constance group of literary studies. Hans Robert Jauss's version of reception theory was introduced in the late s, a period of social, political, and intellectual instability in West Germany. Jauss's reception theory focused on the reader rather than the author or text. The original reception of a text was compared to a later reception, revealing different literary receptions and their evolution. Jauss's Rezeptionsgeschichte history of reception illustrated the evolution of the reception of texts and the evolving paradigms of literary criticism that they were a part of. However, Jauss's essays proved to be more of a provocation for change in literary criticism than the foundation for the next literary paradigm.


Reception theory

To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. The model points to the extra- and intra- literary criteria that determine the success or failure of a literary text. It seems from this study that there is an additional factor 1.


reception theory




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