A theory of expressive reading

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Whether justified by the “affective fallacy” or the “death of the subject,” challenges to expressivist theories of literary reading have been persuasive. What seems lacking is theory that respects the fragility of felt meanings <i>and </i>the vitality found in their uncovering. Addressing this lack requires articulation of how feeling expression unfolds over time, has the character of disclosure, and simultaneously brings feelings and their intentional objects to presence. Without detracting from expressive disclosure, it is also critical to acknowledge the limits of expressibility – and that expressive reading gestures toward the mood of that which cannot be brought to presence.


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