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Glossary of Literary Theory
A term used by Stanley Fish to describe the necessary reliance of the
critic upon his or her affective responses to stylistic elements in the
text. According to Fish, the literary text is not formally self-sufficient;
it is created in part by the interpretive strategy that the reader deploys.
One must therefore analyze "the developing responses of the reader
in relation to the words as they succeed one another in time." The
work and its result are one and the same thing; what a text is is
what a text does.
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