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Affective Fallacy

  In literary criticism, the affective fallacy assumes that works can be read not as independent structures, but in terms of their emotional or other effects on their readers. In other words, the preconceptions we bring to our reading of any literary work—our cultural, emotional and verbal baggage, as well as that of our society and of the author—are part of the ‘meaning’ of the text as we perceive it, and cannot be dissociated from our perception. ‘Non-affective’ reading, by contrast, excludes all such external associations and concentrates solely on what is in the actual text. KMcL

Further reading W.K. Wimsatt, The Verbal Ikon.



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