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Interpretive Conventions

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Interpretive Conventions

The Reader in the Study of American Fiction

Steven Mailloux

230 Pages
Paperback
ISBN: 9781501728068
Cornell University Press

In Interpretive Conventions, Steven Mailloux provides a general introduction to reader-response criticism while developing his own specific reader-oriented approach to literature. He examines five influential theories of the reading process—those of Stanley Fish, Jonathan Culler, Wolfgang Iser, Norman Holland, and David Bleich. He goes on to argue the need for a more comprehensive reader-response criticism based on a consistent social model of reading. He develops such a reading model and also discusses American textual editing and literary history.

Reviews

"Its central theme—that all assertions about literature are conditioned by interpretative rules and preceded by interpretative work—enables Interpretive Conventions to help us inspect the grounds of our practical criticism, to propose several valuable standards for critical argument, competent interpretation, and scholarly objectives, and to provide a widely informed introduction to reader-response methodologies. I have sought to address Mailloux’s contentions in detail to show that his serious book not only deserves but demands careful reading, an activity I can trust he approves."

- John T. Matthews, NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction

About the Author

Steven Mailloux is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Rhetorical Power, Interpretive Conventions: The Reader in the Study of American Fiction, and Reception Histories: Rhetoric, Pragmatism, and American Cultural Politics, from Cornell University Press.

This work can be downloaded for non-commercial purposes:

Creative Commons License
Interpretive Conventions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.