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Reading Effects

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Reading Effects
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    Introduction: Reading EffectsAuthor(s): ELLEN ROONEYSource: NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction,  Vol. 45, No. 1 (SPRING 2012), pp. 1-2Published by: Duke University PressStable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/23259553Accessed: 31-07-2018 14:09 UTC   JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a widerange of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity andfacilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available athttps://about.jstor.org/terms Duke University Press  is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction This content downloaded from 200.3.145.12 on Tue, 31 Jul 2018 14:09:59 UTCAll use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms   Forum What Can Reading Do?  Introduction Reading Effects  ELLEN ROONEY  The brief essays collected in this Novel forum srcinated in an April table, the second in a collaborative series organized by Novel and Duk sity's Franklin Humanities Institute. Our intention in hosting these provide a public forum for discussions that highlight topics and deb  cal interest to scholars and theorists of the novel. The roundtable devoted to the  question What can reading do? emerged from the burgeoning interest in recen  years in the theory and practice of reading and the array of new critical approaches  that have developed, both within novel studies and across the humanities. Thes contemporary investigations cast an extraordinarily wide net, cutting across t ditional disciplinary and historical distinctions, adopting and adapting the lan guages of evolution and cognitive science, tapping the resources of new media and game theory, questioning traditional approaches to hermeneutics, rhetoric analysis, and close reading. Our forum was designed to capture the exceptional  range and significant challenge of this new work. Given the heterogeneity of t  approaches to reading that have developed, the question What is reading? has given way to less essentializing inquiries that examine reading as practice and  seek out the diversity of reading effects: hence our interest in what reading can do.  We invited Anne Anlin Cheng, William Flesch, Alexander R. Galloway, an  Lisa Zunshine to present brief position papers and Kate Flint, Aarthi Vadde, an Barbara Herrnstein Smith to offer commentaries. We asked our speakers to co sider such questions as: Why has the contemporary interest in the problem of reading acquired such urgency in recent years? Is reading an adequate term fo the interpretative and analytical projects now being undertaken in literary an  cultural studies? What alternatives to the traditional figure of reading are avai  able for literary scholars and others working in interpretative fields? How do ne  media and processes of remediation impact our basic understanding of what  reading can do? How and to what effect has work in fields such as cognitive stu  ies or evolutionary psychology been appropriated by theorists of reading and lite ary scholars? What implications do emerging theorizations of reading have for t  humanities or for other fields in the university?  One powerful strand of the critique of hegemonic conceptions of readin  focuses its attention on the paranoid style of the hermeneutics of suspicion; it h  engendered various alternatives that seek to replace the distance and knowingne  that mark suspicion with intimacy, fascination, generosity, and other modes o  attention that lend themselves to what Eve Kososfsky Sedgwick names reparati  reading. The reparative reading position undertakes a different range of affect  ambitions, and risks (150) than the hermeneutics of suspicion, and it proffers a  path back to the surprise of reading, which scholars of various allegiances arg  Novel: A Forum on Fiction 45:1 DOI 10.1215/00295132-1541270 © 2012 by Novel, Inc. This content downloaded from 200.3.145.12 on Tue, 31 Jul 2018 14:09:59 UTCAll use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms    NOVEL SPRING 2012  has been dulled by our by now all too conventional reading is nothing obvious or simply given about the best means Johnson calls the impossible but necessary task of the re  to be surprised (15). The essays collected here undertake torical and interdisciplinary, philosophical and comparative  political, and they draw on varied canons, genres, and the  the waywardness of a hermeneutics of susceptibility tive power of plastic reading (Galloway), and the deli that undoes the fixity of reader and work to the vicari causal bargaining (Flesch) and the sociocognitive comple  ining the minds of others (Zunshine), they rethink questio  and readers and resist any premature closure beyond the of reading as a process of constant displacement (Vadde  us to examine reading's entailments, its force, and the way in puts into question the place of agency and the relation bet  read, subject and object. They thus spur us to ask not sim also what reading may do to us (Flint) and to acknowledge, the things that reading can't do (Herrnstein Smith). Neve a rich appreciation for the fact that we must say what r  (Althusser and Balibar 14), these provocative essays put o  into question, which is perhaps the most essential of the can do.  Works Cited  Althusser, Louis, and Etienne Balibar. Reading Capital. Trans. Ben Brewster. London: 1979.  Johnson, Barbara. Nothing Fails Like Success. A World of Difference. Baltimore: Johns kins UP, 1987.11-16.  Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading, or, You're So P  noid, You Probably Think This Essay Is About You. Touching Feeling: Affect, Peda  Performativity. Durham: Duke UP, 2003.123-51. This content downloaded from 200.3.145.12 on Tue, 31 Jul 2018 14:09:59 UTCAll use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms

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