Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A One Way Street?

We've been dissecting in class what the role of the writer and reader is. It seems that Foucault is saying that the reader fictionalizes the Author. The author-function serves the purpose of guiding the reader's understanding and interpretation of the text. Foucault believes that this predisposition of the reader limits the interpretation of the text since the view of the Author is always subjective. On the other hand, Ong argues that the author is the one who is fictionalizing his audience. By writing in a certain manner or style (say the conversational prose of Hemingway) or intending his work for a distinct audience, the author can manipulate his audience into conforming to his or her expectations.

The question that arises after I've wrapped my head around these two concepts is what's left if the author is fictionalizing the audience and the audience is fictionalizing its Author? For me, there doesn't seem to be an overlap of these expectations from either realms, so is there an actual relationship that exists at all between Author and audience? Or does the relationship simply only work in one direction, author to reader and reader to author?

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