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Making Meaning with Texts

Selected Essays

No one has contributed more to our understanding of the relationship between readers and texts than Louise Rosenblatt. Her classic Literature as Exploration—now in its fifth edition—introduced the transactional theory of reading and pioneered a revolution that continues today in classrooms where reading and literature are taught.

She maintains that both the reader and the text are essential to the making of meaning. The reader is active, drawing on a reservoir of past experience to interpret the marks on the page. The implications of Rosenblatt's theory range from ideas about...

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No one has contributed more to our understanding of the relationship between readers and texts than Louise Rosenblatt. Her classic Literature as Exploration—now in its fifth edition—introduced the transactional theory of reading and pioneered a revolution that continues today in classrooms where reading and literature are taught.

She maintains that both the reader and the text are essential to the making of meaning. The reader is active, drawing on a reservoir of past experience to interpret the marks on the page. The implications of Rosenblatt's theory range from ideas about instruction methods to ruminations on authority in the classroom, on the page, and in our everyday reading lives.

Making Meaning with Texts brings together some of Rosenblatt's most important work, essays from the 1930s through the 1990s that explore the breadth and depth of her theory. She speaks directly to you, the teacher. In three parts—Theory; Practice: Education; and Practice: Criticism—she gives body to her ideas. The transactional approach expressed in 1938 has been widely adopted and remains vitally important to you today. This is a professional resource that you will return to again and again.

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Contents

To My Readers
"Theory and Practice: An Interview with Louise Rosenblatt"
I. Theory
  1. "The Transactional Theory of Reading and Writing"
  2. "Viewpoints: Transaction Versus Interaction-A Terminological Rescue Operation"
II. Practice: Education
  1. "Toward a Cultural Approach to Literature"
  2. Foreword to the Intergroup Relations Issue of English Journa
  3. l
  4. "The Acid Test for Literature Teaching"
  5. "The Literary Transaction: Evocation and Response"
  6. "Literature-SOS!"
  7. "What Facts Does This Poem Teach You?"
  8. "Moderns Among Masterpieces"
III. Practice: Criticism
  1. "The Writer's Dilemma: A Case History and a Critique"
  2. "The Genesis of Pater's Marius the Epicurean"
  3. "Whitman's Democratic Vistas and the 'New Ethnicity'"

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