Sandvoss, “The Death of the Reader? Literary Theory & the Study of Texts in Popular Culture”

August 17, 2008

I’m not really sure how to respond to these articles in relation to our class without having actually been to class yet.  But I can give a shout-out to all literature buffs and English majors everywhere.  It’s true that the nature of literary criticism is shifting as the nature of actual written text is shifting.  Sandvoss writes, “in a state of constant audienceship in which we consume mediated and fragmented texts and reconstitute textual boundaries in the act of reading [all facilitated by the internet, virtual community networks, blogging, posting, etc.] in an intertextual field, we need to formulate aesthetic categories [ick, that word!] that avoids the absolutism of traditional textual interpretation [that likes to pigeonhole everything] as much as the relativism of poststructuralism and deconstructionism [both of which madly tear things apart and then leave them in pieces for the rest of us to pick up and try to make sense of]” (31).  Long quotation to say that we need a new way of understanding what we’re dealing with in the media that provides a balanced and fair perspective.

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