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Reception Theory

  Reception theory, in literary criticism, concerns the way readers respond to the texts they are reading. A text exists in two ways: absolutely, in its own right, with no contact except between it and the reader who is reading it at that moment; and second it is ‘equipped’ with an aura of meaning derived from its place in the literary and social canon, from its reception by other readers since it was first produced. It is this second phenomenon with which reception theory is concerned the cloud of external significance which is generated by a text, but which is not entirely implicit in that text itself, and may be considerably different from what the original author had in mind. KMcL

See also semiotics.



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