READING AND REREADING: INSIGHTS INTO LITERARY EVALUATION

Willie van Peer, Anna Chesnokova

Abstract


In this paper, we argue that the long-term evaluation of literary texts rather privileges their formal and structural aspects, but to a lesser degree the content. As external and internal reasons for literary evaluation are distinguished, the latter are privileged while the former will only last as the themes and the external reasons remain, which means they are transient and do not lead to long-term evaluation of literary products. At the same time, it is the second type of internal reasons – the form and structure of a literary work – that plays a role and contributes to canon formation. Hence we present the results of some experiments in which two different groups of participants (university students and older people in a convenience sample) in two cultural settings read three texts (one popular fiction and two canonical ones) several times and answered the three questions derived from the “rereading paradigm” by Bortolussi & Dixon (2003). As an additional measure to check the participants reading habits, in Study 1 the ART test from Stanovich et al. (1995), adapted for a Ukrainian audience, was employed. The results, which did not corroborate the predictions, are discussed and confronted with some insights into the theory of literary evaluation.


Keywords


literary reading; rereading; ART test; literary evaluation; external reasons; internal reasons; reading habits; empirical research

Full Text:

PDF

References


Albers, S. (2007). Top or flop: Characteristics of bestsellers. In: L. Jeffries, D. McIntyre & D. Bousfield (Eds.). Stylistics and social cognition (pp. 205-215). Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi.

Bortolussi, M., & Dixon, P. (2003 / 2014). Psychonarratology: foundations for the empirical study of literary response. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/cbo9780511500107.

Cunningham, A. E. & Stanovich, K. E. (1993). Children's literacy environments and early word recognition subskills. Reading and Writing, 5(2), 193-204. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf01027484.

Hakemulder, F. (2004). Foregrounding and its effect on readers’ perception. Discourse Processes 38(2), 193-218. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326950dp3802_3.

Hakemulder, F. & Kuijpers, M. M. (2017). Understanding and appreciating literary texts through rereading. Discourse Processes, 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1080/0163853x.2017.1390352

Lüdtke, J., Jacobs, A. & Xue, Sh. (2018). Where is the difference? Reading Shakespeare sonnets twice. Paper presented at the 16th IGEL conference, Stavanger, Norway.

Mar, R. A. & Rain, M. (2015). Narrative fiction and expository nonfiction differentially predict verbal ability. Scientific Studies of Reading, 19(6), 419-433. https://doi.org/10.1080/10888438.2015.1069296.

Mol, S. E. & Bus, A. (2011). To read or not to read: A meta-analysis of print exposure from infancy to early adulthood. Psychological Bulletin 137(2), 267-296. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021890.

Moore, M. & Gordon. P. C. (2015). Reading ability and print exposure: item response theory analysis of the author recognition test. Behaviour Research Methods 47(4), 1095-1109. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-014-0534-3.

Propp, V. (1928 / 2009). Morphology of the folk tale. Austin: University of Texas Press. Retrieved from https://monoskop.org/images/f/f3/Propp_Vladimir_Morphology_of_the_Folktale_2nd_ed.pdf.

Stanovich, K. E. & West, R. F. (1989). Exposure to print and orthographic processing. Reading Research Quarterly, 24(4), 402-433. https://doi.org/10.2307/747605.

Stanovich. K. E., West, R. F. & Harrison, M. R. (1995). Knowledge growth and maintenance across the life span: The role of print exposure. Developmental Psychology 31, 811-826. https://doi.org/10.1037//0012-1649.31.5.811.

van Peer, W. (Ed.). (2008). The quality of literature. Linguistic studies in literary evaluation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/lal.4.

von Heydebrand, R. & Winko, S. (1996). Einführung in die Wertung von Literatur. Systematik – Geschichte – Legitimation. [Introduction to literary evaluation. Systematics – History – Legitimation]. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh.

Zyngier et al. (2007). Complexity and foregrounding: In the eye of the beholder? Poetics Today 28(4), 653-682. https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-2007-011.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.20535/2410-8286.125730

Copyright (c) 2018 Willie van Peer, Anna Chesnokova

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN 2410-8286 (Online), ISSN 2409-3351 (Print)