Book Review: Eric Livingston, An Anthropology of Reading. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995. xviii + 161.
McHoul, A. (1997) Book Review: Eric Livingston, An Anthropology of Reading. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995. xviii + 161. Discourse & Society, 8 (2). pp. 272-274.
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This book has, in effect, two main points to make - and then a theory about the connection between them. The first point is that, in ordinary everyday reading events, a text and its reading constitute a reflexive 'text/reading pair. That is, what a text is and what it means is constructed in (and as) the work of reading and, reflexively, what counts as reading is an effect of what a text is and what it means which, in its turn....each elaborates or mutually constitutes the other. The second point is that the work of professional literary criticism is, despite any appearances to the contrary, utterly dependent on these same 'laic' arts and skills.
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