READERS, SONS OF ECHO: SHARING LITERARY EXPERIENCEJournal: Horizon. Studies in Phenomenology (Vol.3, No. 1)
Publication Date: 2014-12-25
This paper aims at analysing, in a phenomenological perspective, how meaning occurs in literary readings as well as in literary discussions. The study takes as its empirical starting point a seminar session, in which several academic readers have shared their experiences of the same novel. It appeared that the constitution of the novel's meaning was modified and continued during the discussion and, therefore, that the meaning of the novel was not available before the discussion happened. Then, to understand what happened before the discussion, the inquiry relies on P. Bayard's theoretical elaborations, which state that the solitary experience of reading itself involves previous readings: the subjectivity of the reader is haunted by a plurality of texts, virtually involved in the process of reading of the novel. Therefore, the article intends to explore the notion of potential space, coined by Winnicott, and to define it as an intersubjective space, made of virtual subjectivities. Ultimately, to describe the way a new meaning has arisen between the participants, the study relies on M. Richir's phenomenology. The point, here, is to question the actual but unconscious interweaving of the subjectivities in the discussion. Thus, the study provides a deeper understanding of the creativity of the act of reading, by assuming that creativity cannot happen without a plurality of subjectivities, existing or virtual.
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