Author(s): Ritu Rani

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Address: Ritu Rani
Research Scholar, English Department, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshtra
*Corresponding Author

Published In:   Volume - 1,      Issue - 1,     Year - 2013

The business of literary criticism is interpretation. It means analysis and judgment of a literary or artistic work. But the definition of criticism is changed since Eliot declared in 1923 in his essay entitled, "The Function of Criticism" that the business of criticism is ‘elucidation of work of art and the correction of taste’ (Eliot 24). Now we do not talk of literary text as primary and the criticism of the text as secondary. Literary work is no longer accepted as host and criticism as parasite. ‘Text’ is not what the author makes it to be but it is as the reader takes it to be. ‘Text’ and the ‘reader’ not only act upon one another but there are many reversible reactions between them. Reader-Response School of Criticism is of recent origin. The main works of reception theory were published between 1969 and 1978. It takes off from the middle position intellectual climate succeeded by the formalist structuralism system, The Prague school and the New criticism. As Gurubhagat Singh has rightly pointed out that: in these schools, the text was thought to be a ‘being’ or a structure with its own rules, yet it was thought to be a ‘code’ or a sign system, that the reader shared and that he had to decipher for the text’s adequate understanding (Singh 51). Reader-Response Criticism owes an important debt to phenomenology and the Geneva School, particularly in the person of the German critic Wolfgang Iser.

Cite this article:
Ritu Rani. An Overview of Reader-Response Theory. Int. J. Rev. & Res. Social Sci. 1(1): July –Sept. 2013; Page 09-10.

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