[ilds] RG Justine 1.4 -- active reading & Justine

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Mon Apr 16 14:38:18 PDT 2007

>>Charles, I think I've finally realized what you means by "dream," which has
>>eluded me until now.  You say
>>>Faced with gaps, at a loss for a "factitious frame,"
>>>we respond with imaginative suture, the ligature
>>>homespun out of our own poor provisions.
>Is Charlie saying that readers tend to fill in the blanks as they see 
That would need quite a bit qualifying nuance, Bill, but, essentially 
your "fill-in" here is correct.   Intelligent reading is active reading, 
self-monitoring reading.   Pursewarden says:  "I refer the reader to a 
blank page in order to throw him back upon his own resources--which is 
where every reader ultimately belongs."   I would also value any 
readings that promote subsequent rereadings.  Even deformative readings 
are valuable.  Witness the /Ivanhoe Game/ developed by the SpecLab at 
the University of Virginia

        Ivanhoe Game

        /TEXT Technology/ (special issue dedicated to Ivanhoe)
        Volume 12, Number 2, 2003

Ivanhoe allows for a group of readers to work through the text or a 
picture or a piece of music together.  The players first adopt readerly 
"roles" or personae through which to approach the text.  One might, for 
example, read /Justine /in the role of Cavafy, Eliot, Melissa Artemis, 
the Marquis de Sade, Bill Godshalk, Da Capo, Pursewarden, Scobie, Oscar 
Wilde, &c. Then the players make any number of creative or critical 
moves--explicating allusions, interpreting, changing or deleting the 
words in the text, adding characters &c.--but they must provide each 
other with the criteria for the moves (rational or ludic) and also 
remain consistent within the set of expectations that they have defined 
for the character.  All of this activity is tracked through archived 
logs and visualizations:


>More evidence that readers are active, and texts are passive?
Yes, but some writers like LD seem more attuned to the reading act, 
crafting complex texts that are at once aesthetically pleasing and 
intellectually stimulating--textual environments primed for readerly 


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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