Writing by Bob Doto

There is No "One True Meaning" in a Text: Reading as a Communal Act

Twelve references to authors and books to help show that reading and meaning-making are communal acts.

Reader-response theory

"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 in which each reader creates their own, possibly unique, text-related performance."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reader-response_criticism https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/reader-response-theory

Louise M. Rosenblatt, The Reader, the Text, the Poem

"The reading of a text is an event occurring at a particular time in a particular environment at a particular moment in the life history of the reader. The transaction will involve not only the past experience but also the present state and present interests or preoccupations of the reader. This suggests the possibility that printed marks on the page may even become different linguistic symbols by virtue of transactions with different readers."


Stanley Fish, Is There a Text in This Class?

"[I]t is interpretive communities, rather than either the text or reader, that produce meanings."


Marjorie Perloff's reviews and criticism

"While Perloff's criticism sometimes resembles close reading, and much of her work includes detailed discussions of individual poems, she does not shy away from contextual, historical, and biographical framing and backfill eschewed by the New Critics of the 1940s and '50s. Peter Middleton calls such socio-historically informed commentary 'distant reading'."


Juliana Spahr, Everybody's Autonomy: Connective Reading and Collective Identity

"Wild reading…critiques the status quo because it disrupts schooled reading’s conventions, its socialization. One’s approach to reading…defines how one engages the larger social apparatus."


Trinh T. Minh-ha, Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism

"Nothing could be more normative, more logical, and more authoritarian than, for example, the (politically) revolutionary poetry or prose that speaks of revolution in the form of commands or in the well-behaved, steeped-in-convention language of 'clarity'."


David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous

"Wild, living speech takes up, from within, the interconnected matrix of the language and _gestures with it, subjecting the whole structure to a 'coherent deformation'."_


Bruce Andrews, Paradise and Method: Poetry and Praxis

"Words are mere windows, substitutes, proper names, haloed or subjugated by the things to which they seem to point. 'Communication' resembles an exchange of prepackaged commodities."


Steve McCaffery, North of Intention "Diminished Reference and the Model Reader"

"Problems in readership arise only from a refusal to abandon prejudicial reading habits and from the insistence on a verbal presence that would offer itself for consumption."


John Caputo, More Radical Hermeneutics: On Not Knowing Who We Are

"Reason without unreason is a smooth surface, a superficial transparency; reason with unreason speaks from the depths.... Unreason reduced to its scientific "truth," constituted as a scientific object, is a surface event, thin, transparent, placid object."


Todd May, The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism

"The reason poststructuralism has focused so much of its theoretical energies on the politics of knowledge is that knowledge tends mistakenly to be thought of as distinct from political considerations.... Knowledge, then, like other social objects, is a matter of struggle and domination."


Augusto Boal, Theater of the Oppressed

"It is not the place of the theatre to show the correct path, but only to offer the means by which all possible paths may be examined."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_of_the_Oppressed https://www.amazon.com/Theatre-Oppressed-Augusto-Boal/dp/0930452496/

I look forward to reading other lists of writers and reader-writers that challenge the norms of accepted ways of engaging with texts that are repeated ad nauseam in the PKM scene. I believe such lists (if they are read and digested) will have a positive effect on the way we engage with and value our systems.

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