Reader-Response Criticism and the Internet: A Methodological Discussion
This article explores connections between Internet-based research and reader-response criticism, aiming to critically discuss the methodologies used in this particular field of research. First, the history of reader-response studies is briefly presented, with reference to theorists such as Richards, Rosenblatt, Robbe-Grillet, Iser and Jauss. It is noted that, for the past 15 years, people have utilised the Internet as a basis for the discussion of literary and reading-related topics. Researchers in this field may access reviews and commentaries on open web-based venues such as personal homepages, blogs and online forums (i.e. message boards and discussion sites). The material available on these sites is interesting because of its "spontaneous" nature; that is, such material has been formulated and uploaded without the interference of the researcher.
The article presents one concrete example of an Internet-based reader-response study, discussing a number of pros and cons of the chosen methodology– including some important ethical considerations that arise when the researcher’s corpus is composed of material taken from the Internet. One of the conclusions of the paper is that many aspects of the general public’s web-based responses to literature are yet to be explored by the research community.
2015. no 1, 33-44 p.