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on the reception of literature

May 19, 2015

“The historical and cultural reality which we call the ‘literary work’ is not exhausted in the text. The text is only one of the elements of a relation. In fact, the literary work consists of the text (the system of intra-textual relations) in its relation to extra-textual reality: to literary norms, tradition and the imagination” ~ Jurij M Lotman

“The structuralist tradition offers the concept of “relation” as a central concept for the theory of reception. Structuralism as a method of thinking, as a “noetic standpoint” (Mukarovský), starts from the assumption that a phenomenon cannot be described in isolation but only with the help of relations in which it is embedded.” (Fokkema and Kunne-Ibsch, p.142)

“Reception research must investigate how the position of a work changes with the appearance of new works; it must – and here reception research is to look to other disciplines – be able to explain which extraliterary historical anc cultural presuppositions pave the way for a certain understanding of a work and for its ranking.” (Fokkema and Kunne-Ibsch, p.150)

“The domain of research is now no longer texts, certainly not texts in the form of books. The domain of research is the totality of the processes of text use” (Götz Wienold, quoted p.151)

Ref: (Lotman quoted p.137) DW Fokkema and Elrud Kunne-Ibsch, ‘The reception of literature,’ from Theories of Literature in the Twentieth Century: Structuralism, Marxism, Aesthetics of Reception (New York: St martin’s Press, 1978) [IBN 0903983834]

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