Lecture #3 - February 1.docx

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St. Michael's College Courses
Jenna Sunkenberg

Lecture #3: Readership Friday, February 1 /2013  The idea of what reading means changes throughout history, as we look at what a reader is and what a readership is it becomes very difficult to define it or pin it down A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel: Picture Reading (p. 95-107) P.97:  Throughout the Middle Ages people are reading images thus looking at images might have been considered reading; in our day and age (18 century onward) reading really means reading of a text  St. Augustine [De Doctrina Cristiana – On Christian Teacher; written in 300AD] o This is considered the first book that looks at what signs are, and what it means to interpret signs, and to have a community of people that are interpreting signs  Augustine gives us this idea of readership as a society or community that is formed through the interpretation of signs, where those signs are received through the senses  this becomes the earliest idea of what reading is  What is a sign? | A signifier could be an image, sound, gesture, tangible representation, or anything that represents an idea or concept  Collectio: | Reading is a gathering of the symbols (of “collecting” symbols) through the senses o As I look at a text or symbols that represent words, I am gathering the symbols in my memory o It might happen while someone is performing where I see gestures that represent actions or stories, it might also happen while walking down the street where I see things and collect them through my vision and they get stored in my memory o This gathering is kind of the process of thought, of interpretation, an embodied process of living that happens simultaneously with reading – its not just looking at text but receiving signs that somehow signify a concept  Reading itself is about gathering information, but it is a whole sensorial bodily process, the body is always engaged with reading; holistic process o It is an embodied process of living that happens simultaneously while reading – its not just looking at text its receiving signs that somehow signify a concept RHETORIC  Rhetoric: the act of public speaking where how you are reading impacts the audience; o Its an exchange between the orator and the audience o Rhetoric is the art of this exchange of creating and presenting information and of stirring up emotions in your audience so that they can respond and affect your own ability to perform  We educate people who are going to be the authors from a whole body experience; reading is about performing and receiving and in a culture where we don't have just visual presentation and receiving where its about sound and body, this holistic idea of gathering information is taught and helps us understand what reading is today as well o The author is the orator  You can’t succeed professionally unless you are skilled in the art of presenting arguments, and the way you do that is to stir up emotions in your audience – that's how understanding occurs, and its apart of a whole structure of effecting a community or a society 5 PARTS TO RHETORIC [CICERO] #1: Inventio: Invention – create an argument – so that there is some personal interpretation of information so that you can be unique in your own style of delivery as author or orator #2: Disposito: Arrangement – you have a structure of arrangement, structure with which one presents information orally #3: Elocutio: Style – there is a certain mood that you are trying to present, being able to read the audience and their mood (control mood through use of language) #4: Memoria: Memory/Imagination – orator is central to what the idea of a reader and an author is, it is the improvisation of information – re-gathering of information and presenting it #5: Actio: Physical Delivery – embodied presence of the orator or reader, how you present yourself and the gestures that will result in particular emotions; the text changes through the exchange between author and audience – as the orator receives the reaction he or she understands himself and the way he/she receives information and performs as an orator  Before we have literacy or written language, we have a completely oral culture where we’re transmitting information based on stories and songs – the audience receives information through sound;  All of these dynamics and exchanges create readerships and society, as we move throughout history, this idea of the author as an orator starts to restructure and become the dominant force as readership, and text as a book slowly starts coming out of that and affecting what readership is WHY DOES READERSHIP CHANGE WHEN TEXT BECOMES THE MORE DOMINANT EXCHANGE? How does rhetoric relate to ethos, pathos, and logos?  The orator is someone who is presenting an argument; in medieval and ancient culture the idea was that in order to be a successful orator it wasn’t just about persuasion (ability to argue something), rather a society or readership is created to argue for the better. Building a society on an ethical ground gets at the embodied idea of language and of reading, where it is a gathering of information.  We create a readership or society where hopefully that argument is arguing for the good; rhetoric is apart of the system that constructs a society which is built towards the good  Ethos is the ethical ground that the orator is being trained in – the good coming through, persuading something for the good of humanity. The way this can be done is through affecting pathos, through affecting the emotions (orator is someone who stirs emotions in the audience); the dimension of that experience isn’t in the body, but in the heart or the soul. This is done through logos (language) completed through words. Alberto Manguel: The Author as Reader (p. 247-259) P. 251  Description of the author as a reader, who is a person skilled in the art of persuasion and presentation; there is this idea that how I read the text is going to determine how I interpret it  At this point in history, when we have a culture reading by looking at images or receiving the story in an oral form, the author who is using all of the points of rhetoric is choosing what information you see or read – it becomes dogmatic [meaning it expresses rigid opinions]  This dynamic starts changing as individuals start reading texts, instead of just having the author to audience dynamic, we start getting a reader to text dynamic as well – the idea is that this will start to change society o As that dynamic starts shifting, and readership starts opening to the more individual access to text, society will start to restructure, this is because our own biases are always affecting how we interpret something  We each have imagined ideas because we have developed a relationship with the text and what it means to us; my memory starts to imagine different things and we start building these stories as part of ourselves, which creates a different society because we are not given the interpretation. In this model there is direct representation to the reader, who can then interpret it in his or her own way.  When in this direct relationship, culture comes into the text, and an individual begins a relationship with society as its represented in the text; the dynamic of audience and author is replaced by this embodied presence of a voice giving all this information to you, and all of these senses present are now on the page – it starts question our truth  Whenever we read there is an entertainment value, but there is always something being taught; with this new system we gain more choice over knowledge, an expansion of genres, and we start to see that those things you read in the past affect what you read in the present; o Culturally collective memory – idea of gathering of information that's present in the orator to audience dynamic; o Before we get out of the collective memory – the orator is absolutely a mediator, because society is structured on this oral communication on this oral presentation, where only orators or the authors have been educated in how to read the idea is that your individual interpretation isn’t quite as developed as once you start having individual access and that’s because we live in a place of collective memory, because even if we have our own experiences, when we are living in a society that’s primarily oral there is a lot more communal reception and understanding o Rhetoric isn’t about manipulation, rather presentation and helping your audience to understand the good within themselves, however human nature steps in to influence this Alberto Manguel: The Book of Memory (p. 55-65)  P. 63 – Petrarch, an Italian writer from 14 century, Augustine is very important to him; a voice develops in Petrarch’s poetry and you start getting pre-modern anxiety, split-self – Petrarch believes the only way he can express this is through his writing and reading  Relevance of passage; new dynamic: Take from books “an idea, a phrase, an image, linking it to another culled from a distant text preserved in memory, tying the whole together with reflections of one’s own – producing, in fact, a new text authored by the reader.” o Gets at this n
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