Sunday, December 19, 2010


By: Jayson Patalinghug
This article is solely written to provide information and not to stereotype anyone. As a literature teacher I feel the burden of keeping the literary value of what we write and read in this blog. I hope this will serve its purpose and I would like to thank Mike, Dalisay and all MSOB followers for the support and attention they gave on my short articles.

Expressive Reader

Thanks to those who read and share their thoughts on this post. This is written for educational purpose only and nothing more. It intends to help us understand what type of reader we are and how we decode every information we read.

In the previous post we have learned that there are readers who looked at a certain piece as a mirror of reality. This type of readers looks for archetypes that would bridge fictitious events, characters and setting into the real world.

Another type of readers are those who treat a literary work primarily in relation to the author. It defines a certain piece as an expression, or overflow, or utterance of feeling, or as product of the writer’s feelings. The theory tends to judge the work by its sincerity to the writer’s vision or the state of mind. Such views were developed mainly by the Romantic critics and remain current in our time too.

Expressive readers believe that authorial individuality is something to be conveyed by a literary work, and to go beyond objectivist theorists’ prescription that a writer’s effort should be to flee personality and that criticism should focus on the text and not to the writer. 
If you are this type of reader then you must have chosen to read a certain story associated to your favorite writer. Some would ask, “Who wrote that story?” And after knowing the answer, they already pre-judged the work without even reading it. This is mainly what is happening to the PEBA competition where Mike Juha joined. There are readers who throw negative comments on his entry because what they have in their mind is that a gay themed story is written by a gay writer. Or they do not bother to read the entry anymore and judged it immoral because they know that the writer is gay and his works would only express homosexual immorality.

It is clear that readers influenced with this theory are more bias in their judgement. They do not analyze and criticize the text but they directly attack the one who wrote it.

Sources: History of Literary Criticism by Maggie Mertens Encyclopedia Britannica: Literary CriticismDictionary of the History of Ideas: Literary Criticism. 

Next Topic: Objective Reader

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