2007-09-16 06:45 pm (UTC)
I get that, and that's probably why whenever I actually read the texts of the people cited by reader response types, I am far less annoyed at the theorists than I am at the people in fandom quoting them, HAHA. I'm pretty much pro-external authority all the way, but I do recognize the validity of other ways of thinking even though I'll probably never understand the attraction of them. Which is fair enough, as reader response advocates are routinely confounded by why anyone cares what the author has to say so I guess we're all even in our mutual confusion.
So yes, it's less the theory than the place it often goes, which I think has to do with fandom's investment tendency? Which is to say, the more emotionally invested in one reading or another a person is the more likely they are to go batshit when people disagree, at least in my experience. I don't think reader response is necessarily linked to emotive thinking (because we have intellectual and experiential POV leanings as much as we have like/dislike biases, etc) but I do think it often gets used to avoid admitting they just got it wrong.
Which is probably how this conversation has gotten muddled? Because there's a mixing of different variables at work: authorial intent vs. reader response, emotional reactions vs. intellectual observations, emotional investment vs. emotional detachment and emotional expression vs. rationalized expression, and you can't really equate any of them with another.
And as for the second reply, I generally have issues with anyone claiming their reading is absolute, even people like myself who basically bow to the author's word, just because even authorial intent adherents can't know exactly what the author was doing - all they can really do is try to get as close as they can. But I admit to being considerably harsher on people who claim they know the Absolute Truth while also claiming the right to disagree with the author because they perceived the work differently than intended. Just because it's kind of ridiculous to claim on one hand that their reactions/perceptions are valid regardless of whether anyone else agrees and on the other hand also claim that everyone else's perceptions/reactions are only valid insomuch as they agree.
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