Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Where Is the Reader ?

Yesterday I went to Professor Abdolkarim Soroush’s lecture, The Skeptical Prophets. It was a very enjoyable talk. Professor Soroush is a very articulate speaker; he specifically is very accurate on his sources. So I enjoyed it beyond any measures.

During and after the talk the issue of the reader – audience, spectator or addressees – got my attention. As an after thought to Roland Barthes’ essay, Death of the Author, I think (perhaps as a modern approach) while revising a literature text, ancient or contemporary, we should always be conscious about the intended audience of that text. In the process of understand a text, although we focus more on what we understand from the text and we do not immediately occupy ourselves with author’s intentions, in my mind it is crucial to recognize who was/is the targeted audience of that piece. As I imagine every author had his readers in mind. Of course the whole idea of interpretation and hermeneutic is at stake here. Now my problem with my own thought is this: if we believe that there are texts which are meant for everyone, that they are good for all times - a text timeless and addressed to all - in that case what will happen to the importance of the reader? does it increase or decrease?


The Writer Away, San Juan Bautista, California, Fall 2007




3 comments:

bakavir said...

rojaye azizam. videot kheyli hese khoobi dasht. bazam edameh bede...

Anonymous said...

A good writer, well in my humble opinion, has only one responsibility and that is to write WELL and honest, and by honest i dont mean not writing fiction.. I just mean being honest to her/himself while writing...
Readers have a choice, they can chose what they read... and that's all there is to it.
We all chose what we read...
And no responsibility towards the readers does not justify lousy writing...

Tameshk said...

Dearest Bakavir

Thanks for your comment! I cannot wait to talk to you more about some of the technical problems we have there.

Dear Anonymous

Many thanks for your comment. I agree that Writing Well is important! The problem of interpretation however, appears mostly for texts that are very well-written: here reader's understanding becomes an issue particularly for ancient texts; for example examination of most of religious texts become an issue.