Text to reader : a communicative approach to Fowles, Barth, Cortázar, and Boon


Text to reader : a communicative approach to Fowles, Barth, Cortázar, and Boon

Theo D'Haen

(Utrecht publications in general and comparative literature, v. 16)

J. Benjamins Pub., 1983

  • : pbk

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Bibliography: p. [155]-162



Text to Reader seeks to find a critical approach that links a novel's form to its socio-cultural context. Combining elements from Iser's reception aesthetics, speech act theory, and Goffman's frame analysis, this book starts from the assumption that a reader has certain conventional expectations with regard to a novel, and then goes on to examine how violations of these expectations rule the reader's relationship to the novel. The theory sketched in the first chapter is then, in four subsequent chapters, applied to The French Lieutenant's Woman by the English author John Fowles, Letters by the American John Barth, Libro de Manuel by the Argentinean Julio Cortazar, and De Kapellekensbaan by the Flemish novelist Louis-Paul Boon. The particular form each of these novels takes is analyzed as correlative to that novel's communicative function. This book will be of interest to comparatists, students of English and American literature, and the literatures of Latin-America and the Low Countries.


  • 1. Preface
  • 2. The novel as act and experience
  • 3. John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman
  • 4. John Barth's Letters
  • 5. Julio Cortazar's Libro de Manuel
  • 6. Louis Paul Boon's De Kapellekensbaan
  • 7. Conclusion
  • 8. Notes
  • 9. Bibliography

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