Television and Literature Reading Vs. Watching - Essay

Reading Vs. Watching

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

Robert C. Allen

SOURCE: "Reader-Oriented Criticism and Television," in Discourse: Contemporary Criticism, University of North Carolina Press, 1987, pp. 74-112.

[In the following essay, Allen applies the phenomenological theory of reader-oriented criticism to the viewing of television. ]

"Reader-response criticism," "reception theory," and "reader-oriented criticism" are all names given to the variety of recent works in literary studies that foreground the role of the reader in understanding and deriving pleasure from literary texts. Traditionally, says Wolfgang Iser, a leading force in the German variant of reader-oriented studies, critics have...

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