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Schema affirmation and White Asparagus: cultural multilingualism among readers of texts

Jeffries, Lesley (2001) Schema affirmation and White Asparagus: cultural multilingualism among readers of texts. Language and Literature, 10 (4). pp. 325-343. ISSN 09639470

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This article builds on the work of Cook (1994) and Semino (1997), although it begins by attempting to demonstrate that their claims that the general function of literature is to change a reader's schemata are logically difficult to sustain, difficult to demonstrate empirically and counter-intuitive for many experiences of reading literature. Two poems are considered as examples of 'schema-affirmation': the identification in a text of prior knowledge or experience which is rarely or never publicly articulated in that genre. It is claimed that this is a common experience for readers of literary works, particularly for those who in some way feel themselves oppressed or alienated by the mainstream culture. It is suggested that the ability to read simultaneously from a number of viewpoints should become the foundation of any model of textual meaning, and that readers' tendency to construct what they see as the 'intended' meaning is not necessarily affected by their other or alternative readings. The need for empirical work investigating these phenomena is acknowledged and it is suggested that reader-response studies could be adapted to this end.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: UoA 57 (English Language and Literature)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
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Depositing User: Graham Stone
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2008 14:47
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 10:41


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