Thursday, June 10, 2010

Exposing assumptions and moving beyond the original debate



Throughout her discussion, Lindemann refers to teaching literature. This phrase is revealing and reflects Lindemann’s limited perception of literature, its uses, and its impact on the reader. Although she does briefly touch upon critical theory, she does not explore it with any great depth. Tate also examined literature as a source for analysis, something to be taken apart and examined and then subsequently written about.

Steinberg’s addition to the conversation is a historical perspective; Gamer’s begins to explore the differences between fiction and non-fiction. Salvatori’s analysis goes a step further in that it explores the relationship of reader to text, acknowledging that readers engage differently with fiction than they do with non-fiction. It appears that the conversation stagnated and, for the most part, ended at that point. The stagnation occurred at the time when the question, why do readers engage differently with fiction than non-fiction, should have been raised. The connection between how literature affects readers and how fiction is crafted was not explored. Had it been, the conversation might have continued.

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