Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - April 20

There is so much confusion today concerning the Role of the reader in narrative. I hope this points us in a better direction. Either the reader has been marginalized – considered an observer – a disinterested party – and thus excluded from the story and its meaning – all the meaning is in the text, or the reader has been glorified - entirely integrated – and therefore understood as merrily floating around in the story as the maker of all the meaning – a reader’s response is not to the meaning, it is the meaning. While it is essential that the reader have a role when reading a story, neither of these options would seem to be fitting. The role of the reader, by contrast, is to imaginatively connect with the characters in the story, the plot, the intention, and the narrative, and to appropriately fill in meaning where invited to do so by the narrator.