Reader-response theory recognizes the reader as an active agent who imparts “real existence” to the work and completes its meaning through interpretation. Reader-response criticism argues that literature should be viewed as a performing art lois tyson critical theory today pdf which each reader creates their own, possibly unique, text-related performance. New Criticism had emphasized that only that which is within a text is part of the meaning of a text.
There are multiple approaches within the theoretical branch of reader-response criticism, yet all are unified in their belief that the meaning of a text is derived from the reader through the reading process. Lois Tyson endeavors to define the variations into five recognized reader-response criticism approaches whilst warning that categorizing reader-response theorists explicitly invites difficultly due to their overlapping beliefs and practices. Louise Rosenblatt and supported by Wolfgang Iser, involves a transaction between the text’s inferred meaning and the individual interpretation by the reader influenced by their personal emotions and knowledge. David Bleich, looks entirely to the reader’s response for literary meaning as individual written responses to a text are then compared to other individual interpretations to find continuity of meaning.