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One of the major arguments in literary theory over reader-response approaches to criticism has been the discussion entering on the “Eskimo Rose for Emily”. In this discussion, critics have explored the issue of whether a text must also be read against an actual historical background or whether any response by any type of reader has its own validity. On the neo-pragmatist end of the controversy, Stanley Fish argues that the validity of the reading depends on whether it conforms to technical norms of the discipline and is accepted by the discourse community. Reader response theorists see no reason to privilege one reader’s interpretation over another. Historical and rhetorical scholars, on the other hand, absent any evidence of historical associations and authorial intentions, reject such a reading.
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