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4. Configurative Reading

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Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300)

The discussion of Gadamer and Hirsch continues in this lecture, which further examines the relationship between reading and interpretation. Through a comparative analysis of these theorists, Professor Paul Fry explores the difference between meaning and significance, the relationship between understanding and paraphrasing, and the nature of the gap between the reader and the text. Through Wolfgang Iser's essay, "The Reading Process," the nature of textual expectation and surprise, and the theory of their universal importance in narrative, is explained. The lecture concludes by considering the fundamental, inescapable role that hermeneutic premises play in canon formation.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Gadamer Revisited
08:47 - Chapter 2. Hirsch's Historicism
19:44 - Chapter 3. Iser: The Act of Reading
28:25 - Chapter 4. Expectations
43:12 - Chapter 5. Tony the Tow Truck
48:51 - Chapter 6. Gadamer, Iser, Hirsch, and the Canon

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.