Reading the Ordinary: A Personal and Cultural Exploration
Cunningham, John M.
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Underlying this project is a recognition of the importance of "subjective criticism," as David Bleich calls it in his book of the same name. Bleich argues for subjective criticism not simply as a new understanding for how texts (in his case, literary works) operate on actual readers - the history of reader-response theory, from Louise Rosenblatt onward, has engaged with this issue to some extent - but also as a pedagogical device that coheres with the aims of liberal arts education. Encouraging students to approach literature subjectively (though not without an open mind) aids them in defining their own tastes, and more broadly. in thinking more in-depth about their own identities.