Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lecture 4: Reader Response Wordle Summary, Kieren Boddy

The Wordle tag cloud matched my interpretation to some extent through how highly I rated particular key words that stood out from reading the paper. Some of the words, although not used frequently, stood out from my interpretation of the context in which they where used. The words raised where 'conspiracy', 'Marxian', and 'rhetoric-police',whilst decreasing 'reading','writing' and 'professionalism', which were used frequently. 
My interpretation of the paper itself was that it was written by a person who is enthusiastic about the 'reader-response theory' and is dismayed by the 'grand conspiracy' against it by 'the elite' scholars who do not see the value of such a 'popular' theory such as the one she supports. 
Is there a conspiracy against the Reader-Response theory? I cannot tell from reading just this paper. I could tell that Harkin is entrenched into the idea that Reader-Response is the theory that should be taught more, but the way the paper was written makes me immediately question the validity of this through the way the point was argued for. 'Reader-Response' was described as populist in the 1970's and 1980's and was, and 'still is' shunned by the scholarly elite whilst those elitists hold up more newer or more established theories. I feel that it was more about 'apathy' than 'conspiracy' that lead to the decline of reader-response. A theory that was once made popular by an enthusiastic 'underclass' and its figureheads declined because of its figureheads dieing off and not being replaced and driving the benefits home. No matter what its benefits, a theory still needs proponents who voice them, in the case of 'Reader-Response', the proponents left seem at first reading, more desperate by siting 'Elitists', 'Conspiracy' and 'Marxism' to forward their views rather than just focusing on the benefits of such a theory. This then results in my views, although not fixed, of disregarding the paper with my own 'apathy' as I was not really won with the argument. 
I also would like to  agree with the points made by the previous blog posts by Paul and Rachel and the remarks they made about the theory and 'Common-Sense'.  
Wordle: Reader Response 

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