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The word '''reader''' refers to anyone who [[Reading (activity)|read]]s. (For example, in discusussing a written text, one might speak of the intended [[emotion]] to be instilled in "the reader.") In general, one can distinguish three theories as to what the reader is and how the reader relates to the text.  
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The word '''reader''' refers to anyone who reads. (For example, in discusussing a written text, one might speak of the intended [[emotion]] to be instilled in "the reader.") In general, one can distinguish three theories as to what the reader is and how the reader relates to the text.  
 
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<center>For lessons on the related [[topic]] of '''''Reading''''', follow [https://nordan.daynal.org/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Reading '''''this link'''''].</center>
 
== The Reader as a Receiver of Meaning ==  
 
== The Reader as a Receiver of Meaning ==  
 
The text is considered an independent object which the reader reads. In this case, the reader is nothing more than one who absorbs the meanings of the text; one who “[decodes] what has by various means been encoded in the text.”  All meaning exists exclusively in the words on the pages; the text is what it is. Under this understanding of the text, there arises the need for terms such as “implied reader”  and “mock reader.”  These names imply that such readers do not really exist. They are, in fact, creations of the text itself. They are “the work’s ideal interpreter.”  The actual reader should attempt to embody the work’s implied reader, in order to read the work exactly as it was meant to be read; to “decode,” if you will, precisely the meaning of the words. There has even been further distinction from the implied reader and actual reader, naming three readers of a text: “the real reader (the person who holds the book in hand), the virtual reader (the kind of reader the author thinks he is writing for, for whom he endows with certain qualities, capacities, and tastes), and the ideal reader (one who understands the work perfectly and approves of its every nuance).”  This theory of the reader suggests that all meaning in a text is implanted within the words of that text, and the actual reader is merely trying to receive the work’s intended meaning by reading how the implied or ideal reader would.
 
The text is considered an independent object which the reader reads. In this case, the reader is nothing more than one who absorbs the meanings of the text; one who “[decodes] what has by various means been encoded in the text.”  All meaning exists exclusively in the words on the pages; the text is what it is. Under this understanding of the text, there arises the need for terms such as “implied reader”  and “mock reader.”  These names imply that such readers do not really exist. They are, in fact, creations of the text itself. They are “the work’s ideal interpreter.”  The actual reader should attempt to embody the work’s implied reader, in order to read the work exactly as it was meant to be read; to “decode,” if you will, precisely the meaning of the words. There has even been further distinction from the implied reader and actual reader, naming three readers of a text: “the real reader (the person who holds the book in hand), the virtual reader (the kind of reader the author thinks he is writing for, for whom he endows with certain qualities, capacities, and tastes), and the ideal reader (one who understands the work perfectly and approves of its every nuance).”  This theory of the reader suggests that all meaning in a text is implanted within the words of that text, and the actual reader is merely trying to receive the work’s intended meaning by reading how the implied or ideal reader would.
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== Sources ==
 
== Sources ==
*Suleiman, Susan R., ''The Reader in the Text'' (Princeton, 1980), p. 6,8,23 [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0691100969]
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*Suleiman, Susan R., ''The Reader in the Text'' (Princeton, 1980), p. 6,8,23 [https://www.amazon.com/dp/0691100969]
*Booth, Wayne, ''The Rhetoric of Fiction'' (Chicago, 1961), p.138 [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0226065588]
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*Booth, Wayne, ''The Rhetoric of Fiction'' (Chicago, 1961), p.138 [https://www.amazon.com/dp/0226065588]
*Tompkins, Jane P., ''Reader-Response Criticism'' (Baltimore, 1980), p. x, xii, xx [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0801824001]  
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*Tompkins, Jane P., ''Reader-Response Criticism'' (Baltimore, 1980), p. x, xii, xx [https://www.amazon.com/dp/0801824001]  
*Donoghue, Denis, ''The Practice of Reading'' (New Haven, 1998), p. 41 [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0300082649]
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*Donoghue, Denis, ''The Practice of Reading'' (New Haven, 1998), p. 41 [https://www.amazon.com/dp/0300082649]
*“The Reading Process: A Phenomenological Approach,” in Iser, Wolfgang, ''The Implied Reader: Patterns of Communication in Prose Fiction from Bunyan to Beckett'' (Baltimore, 1974), p.274-75 [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0801821509]
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*“The Reading Process: A Phenomenological Approach,” in Iser, Wolfgang, ''The Implied Reader: Patterns of Communication in Prose Fiction from Bunyan to Beckett'' (Baltimore, 1974), p.274-75 [https://www.amazon.com/dp/0801821509]
 
*“How to Recognize a Poem When You See One” from Stanley Fish, ''Is There a Text in This Class?'' (1980)
 
*“How to Recognize a Poem When You See One” from Stanley Fish, ''Is There a Text in This Class?'' (1980)
  

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