Date: 2007-09-16 06:03 pm (UTC)
Eh, I can't speak for other NT types, but what sticks in mine is the tendency to support reader response in the sense that they feel entitled to their view of the source regardless of what creators or such and such say (which is fine), but at the same time tend to be the most vehement denouncers of OTHER PEOPLE'S subjective responses. Or, as I was saying to Rae the other day, so many people claim to champion subjectivity but in actuality are championing the idea that there IS a One Truth, and they have it but no one else does.

Hi, this caught my eyes! I'm on the reader response end of the reading spectrum and don't think that all readings are created equal, so I'm going to try to explain. Emotional responses are all valid simply because they are, they're all emotionally true, and they're all interesting. At any given point what someone is experiencing when reading is true to them. But doing a reading isn't the same as sharing the emotional response: it's an attempt to explain what's going on in the text. Not by an "everything goes" standard either, but by using the text as standard. Saying "when Harry met Draco Malfoy the first time and Draco told him "I want to be your friend but I can't because my father is evil" we identify him as the anti-hero of the story" is an inaccurate reading because Draco never said it, but saying "I like him and cheer for him" is true, because it's an emotion and not a statement. Reader response is not irrational, but it's anti-authority and anti-norm. The truth of the text is in the dialogue between various reading and not determined by external authorities. When you criticise someone else's reading and do your own, supposedly they then will do the same to yours.

That said I agree that reader response gets appropriated the way you're describing, much like feminism gets appropriated to both shield specific female characters from criticism and to encourage bashing because the characters are poor representations of womanhood. But that doesn't mean that all feminism critique is in bad-faith, and reader response being appropriated doesn't mean reader response is in bad faith itself.

I think in a way this could be discussed in the context of the rational/emotional distinction, because I feel that reader response is based in the kind of (chaotic? post-modern?) rationality that gets dismissed as irrational by hardcore rationalists.
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