Spot On

invisible vs visible reader

Here’s a drawing in response to the first chapter of Louise Rosenblatt’s The Reader, The Text, The Poem titled “The Invisible Reader.”   In this brief chapter, Rosenblatt quickly surveys the history of reading and tracks the attention paid by critics on the three key players in the reading drama: the author, the text, and the reader.  She argues that critics historically have focused their energies exclusively on texts or authors, but rarely on the role of the readers and how they evoke meaning; thus, making readers invisible in the discussion of literary theory.  As antidote, she claims that her “purpose will be to admit into the limelight the whole scene–author, text, and reader” but be “especially concerned with the member of the cast who has hitherto been neglected–the reader” (5).