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Interveiw With Iser

Interveiw With Iser

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Interview: Wolfgang IserAuthor(s): Wolfgang Iser, Norman N. Holland, Wayne BoothSource:
Diacritics,
Vol. 10, No. 2 (Summer, 1980), pp. 57-74Published by: The Johns Hopkins University PressStable URL:
Accessed: 06/08/2009 01:26
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INTERVIEW
WOLFGANG
ISER
Introduction.Myaim inorganizingthis written interview wastoencourageanexchangebetween reader-oriented heoriesdevelopedinthe UnitedStatesand at Constance. ThepublicationofIser'sowntranslationofDer AktdesLesensprovidestheoccasion.Initially,Isoughtourquestionsfromthreesources.Iasked Norman Holland to takepartinthis interviewsincehisempiricalinvestigationsof readerresponsesseem tobe insharpcontrasttoIser's abstracttheory,and sinceIserratherextensivelycriticizesthepsychoanalyticalmodelof TheDynamicsofLiteraryResponse.WayneBooth's The RhetoricofFictionhasbeenacentraltextforIser,whoseearlier notion of the"impliedreader"canberegardedas adevelopmentofBooth'sconceptof the"impliedauthor."Moreover,heconcernsWayneBootharticulatesnhisrecentCriticalUnderstandingeemed sure toyieldincisivequestionsaboutTheActofReading.StanleyFish'searlieraffilia-tion with the"ConstanceSchool,"set offagainsttheindependentandprovocativepositionon the reader'srelationshiptotheliterarytextthathehassubsequentlydeveloped,suggesteda criticalstandpointonFish'spartthatwouldlead toasignificantexchange.Eachof the three interviewerswasaskedtoformulatethreecentralquestionsand,so as toavoidmisunderstandings,ospecifythecontextinwhichthequestionswere tobe taken.Onceall thequestionswerein,Icheckedthem to makesurethere was noduplicationand sent themtoIser,who sentbackhis answers.Ithenfurnished the interviewers acomplete copyofall thequestionsandanswers,offeringthem theoppor-tunityto askfollow-up questions,but none felt that thiswasnecessary.However,StanleyFish,whohadcompliedwithmyoriginalrequestforconcise,pointed questions,was dissatisfiedwith theformthatthe inter-view-with theextendedquestionselaboratedbyHolland andBooth-hadtaken;heindicatedthathewouldprefertowithdraw.* ButIser,havingwrittenrepliesto Fish's"Counterstatements,"ndhavingconceivedofthem aspartof theoverallstatementhesoughttoconveythroughthetext of theinterview,wasreluctanttowithdrawthem.Facedwiththeneed forsome kind ofcompromise,Isertook ituponhimselftospecifythegeneralconcerns articulatedinFish'sstatements;he thenconvertedhisanswersintocommentsonthesecentralissuesthat he-Iser-hadgleanedfromFish'squestionsand statedinhis own-Iser's-terms.-Rudolf E. Kuenzli
*StanleyFishwill set forth hispositionon theworkofIserinan article to bepublishedintheWinter 1980issueofDiacritics.[-Ed.]
INTERVIEW
WOLFGANG
ISER
Introduction.Myaim inorganizingthis written interview wastoencourageanexchangebetween reader-oriented heoriesdevelopedinthe UnitedStatesand at Constance. ThepublicationofIser'sowntranslationofDer AktdesLesensprovidestheoccasion.Initially,Isoughtourquestionsfromthreesources.Iasked Norman Holland to takepartinthis interviewsincehisempiricalinvestigationsof readerresponsesseem tobe insharpcontrasttoIser's abstracttheory,and sinceIserratherextensivelycriticizesthepsychoanalyticalmodelof TheDynamicsofLiteraryResponse.WayneBooth's The RhetoricofFictionhasbeenacentraltextforIser,whoseearlier notion of the"impliedreader"canberegardedas adevelopmentofBooth'sconceptof the"impliedauthor."Moreover,heconcernsWayneBootharticulatesnhisrecentCriticalUnderstandingeemed sure toyieldincisivequestionsaboutTheActofReading.StanleyFish'searlieraffilia-tion with the"ConstanceSchool,"set offagainsttheindependentandprovocativepositionon the reader'srelationshiptotheliterarytextthathehassubsequentlydeveloped,suggesteda criticalstandpointonFish'spartthatwouldlead toasignificantexchange.Eachof the three interviewerswasaskedtoformulatethreecentralquestionsand,so as toavoidmisunderstandings,ospecifythecontextinwhichthequestionswere tobe taken.Onceall thequestionswerein,Icheckedthem to makesurethere was noduplicationand sent themtoIser,who sentbackhis answers.Ithenfurnished the interviewers acomplete copyofall thequestionsandanswers,offeringthem theoppor-tunityto askfollow-up questions,but none felt that thiswasnecessary.However,StanleyFish,whohadcompliedwithmyoriginalrequestforconcise,pointed questions,was dissatisfiedwith theformthatthe inter-view-with theextendedquestionselaboratedbyHolland andBooth-hadtaken;heindicatedthathewouldprefertowithdraw.* ButIser,havingwrittenrepliesto Fish's"Counterstatements,"ndhavingconceivedofthem aspartof theoverallstatementhesoughttoconveythroughthetext of theinterview,wasreluctanttowithdrawthem.Facedwiththeneed forsome kind ofcompromise,Isertook ituponhimselftospecifythegeneralconcerns articulatedinFish'sstatements;he thenconvertedhisanswersintocommentsonthesecentralissuesthat he-Iser-hadgleanedfromFish'squestionsand statedinhis own-Iser's-terms.-Rudolf E. Kuenzli
*StanleyFishwill set forth hispositionon theworkofIserinan article to bepublishedintheWinter 1980issueofDiacritics.[-Ed.]
INTERVIEW
WOLFGANG
ISER
Introduction.Myaim inorganizingthis written interview wastoencourageanexchangebetween reader-oriented heoriesdevelopedinthe UnitedStatesand at Constance. ThepublicationofIser'sowntranslationofDer AktdesLesensprovidestheoccasion.Initially,Isoughtourquestionsfromthreesources.Iasked Norman Holland to takepartinthis interviewsincehisempiricalinvestigationsof readerresponsesseem tobe insharpcontrasttoIser's abstracttheory,and sinceIserratherextensivelycriticizesthepsychoanalyticalmodelof TheDynamicsofLiteraryResponse.WayneBooth's The RhetoricofFictionhasbeenacentraltextforIser,whoseearlier notion of the"impliedreader"canberegardedas adevelopmentofBooth'sconceptof the"impliedauthor."Moreover,heconcernsWayneBootharticulatesnhisrecentCriticalUnderstandingeemed sure toyieldincisivequestionsaboutTheActofReading.StanleyFish'searlieraffilia-tion with the"ConstanceSchool,"set offagainsttheindependentandprovocativepositionon the reader'srelationshiptotheliterarytextthathehassubsequentlydeveloped,suggesteda criticalstandpointonFish'spartthatwouldlead toasignificantexchange.Eachof the three interviewerswasaskedtoformulatethreecentralquestionsand,so as toavoidmisunderstandings,ospecifythecontextinwhichthequestionswere tobe taken.Onceall thequestionswerein,Icheckedthem to makesurethere was noduplicationand sent themtoIser,who sentbackhis answers.Ithenfurnished the interviewers acomplete copyofall thequestionsandanswers,offeringthem theoppor-tunityto askfollow-up questions,but none felt that thiswasnecessary.However,StanleyFish,whohadcompliedwithmyoriginalrequestforconcise,pointed questions,was dissatisfiedwith theformthatthe inter-view-with theextendedquestionselaboratedbyHolland andBooth-hadtaken;heindicatedthathewouldprefertowithdraw.* ButIser,havingwrittenrepliesto Fish's"Counterstatements,"ndhavingconceivedofthem aspartof theoverallstatementhesoughttoconveythroughthetext of theinterview,wasreluctanttowithdrawthem.Facedwiththeneed forsome kind ofcompromise,Isertook ituponhimselftospecifythegeneralconcerns articulatedinFish'sstatements;he thenconvertedhisanswersintocommentsonthesecentralissuesthat he-Iser-hadgleanedfromFish'squestionsand statedinhis own-Iser's-terms.-Rudolf E. Kuenzli
*StanleyFishwill set forth hispositionon theworkofIserinan article to bepublishedintheWinter 1980issueofDiacritics.[-Ed.]
INTERVIEW
WOLFGANG
ISER
Introduction.Myaim inorganizingthis written interview wastoencourageanexchangebetween reader-oriented heoriesdevelopedinthe UnitedStatesand at Constance. ThepublicationofIser'sowntranslationofDer AktdesLesensprovidestheoccasion.Initially,Isoughtourquestionsfromthreesources.Iasked Norman Holland to takepartinthis interviewsincehisempiricalinvestigationsof readerresponsesseem tobe insharpcontrasttoIser's abstracttheory,and sinceIserratherextensivelycriticizesthepsychoanalyticalmodelof TheDynamicsofLiteraryResponse.WayneBooth's The RhetoricofFictionhasbeenacentraltextforIser,whoseearlier notion of the"impliedreader"canberegardedas adevelopmentofBooth'sconceptof the"impliedauthor."Moreover,heconcernsWayneBootharticulatesnhisrecentCriticalUnderstandingeemed sure toyieldincisivequestionsaboutTheActofReading.StanleyFish'searlieraffilia-tion with the"ConstanceSchool,"set offagainsttheindependentandprovocativepositionon the reader'srelationshiptotheliterarytextthathehassubsequentlydeveloped,suggesteda criticalstandpointonFish'spartthatwouldlead toasignificantexchange.Eachof the three interviewerswasaskedtoformulatethreecentralquestionsand,so as toavoidmisunderstandings,ospecifythecontextinwhichthequestionswere tobe taken.Onceall thequestionswerein,Icheckedthem to makesurethere was noduplicationand sent themtoIser,who sentbackhis answers.Ithenfurnished the interviewers acomplete copyofall thequestionsandanswers,offeringthem theoppor-tunityto askfollow-up questions,but none felt that thiswasnecessary.However,StanleyFish,whohadcompliedwithmyoriginalrequestforconcise,pointed questions,was dissatisfiedwith theformthatthe inter-view-with theextendedquestionselaboratedbyHolland andBooth-hadtaken;heindicatedthathewouldprefertowithdraw.* ButIser,havingwrittenrepliesto Fish's"Counterstatements,"ndhavingconceivedofthem aspartof theoverallstatementhesoughttoconveythroughthetext of theinterview,wasreluctanttowithdrawthem.Facedwiththeneed forsome kind ofcompromise,Isertook ituponhimselftospecifythegeneralconcerns articulatedinFish'sstatements;he thenconvertedhisanswersintocommentsonthesecentralissuesthat he-Iser-hadgleanedfromFish'squestionsand statedinhis own-Iser's-terms.-Rudolf E. Kuenzli
*StanleyFishwill set forth hispositionon theworkofIserinan article to bepublishedintheWinter 1980issueofDiacritics.[-Ed.]
INTERVIEW
WOLFGANG
ISER
Introduction.Myaim inorganizingthis written interview wastoencourageanexchangebetween reader-oriented heoriesdevelopedinthe UnitedStatesand at Constance. ThepublicationofIser'sowntranslationofDer AktdesLesensprovidestheoccasion.Initially,Isoughtourquestionsfromthreesources.Iasked Norman Holland to takepartinthis interviewsincehisempiricalinvestigationsof readerresponsesseem tobe insharpcontrasttoIser's abstracttheory,and sinceIserratherextensivelycriticizesthepsychoanalyticalmodelof TheDynamicsofLiteraryResponse.WayneBooth's The RhetoricofFictionhasbeenacentraltextforIser,whoseearlier notion of the"impliedreader"canberegardedas adevelopmentofBooth'sconceptof the"impliedauthor."Moreover,heconcernsWayneBootharticulatesnhisrecentCriticalUnderstandingeemed sure toyieldincisivequestionsaboutTheActofReading.StanleyFish'searlieraffilia-tion with the"ConstanceSchool,"set offagainsttheindependentandprovocativepositionon the reader'srelationshiptotheliterarytextthathehassubsequentlydeveloped,suggesteda criticalstandpointonFish'spartthatwouldlead toasignificantexchange.Eachof the three interviewerswasaskedtoformulatethreecentralquestionsand,so as toavoidmisunderstandings,ospecifythecontextinwhichthequestionswere tobe taken.Onceall thequestionswerein,Icheckedthem to makesurethere was noduplicationand sent themtoIser,who sentbackhis answers.Ithenfurnished the interviewers acomplete copyofall thequestionsandanswers,offeringthem theoppor-tunityto askfollow-up questions,but none felt that thiswasnecessary.However,StanleyFish,whohadcompliedwithmyoriginalrequestforconcise,pointed questions,was dissatisfiedwith theformthatthe inter-view-with theextendedquestionselaboratedbyHolland andBooth-hadtaken;heindicatedthathewouldprefertowithdraw.* ButIser,havingwrittenrepliesto Fish's"Counterstatements,"ndhavingconceivedofthem aspartof theoverallstatementhesoughttoconveythroughthetext of theinterview,wasreluctanttowithdrawthem.Facedwiththeneed forsome kind ofcompromise,Isertook ituponhimselftospecifythegeneralconcerns articulatedinFish'sstatements;he thenconvertedhisanswersintocommentsonthesecentralissuesthat he-Iser-hadgleanedfromFish'squestionsand statedinhis own-Iser's-terms.-Rudolf E. Kuenzli
*StanleyFishwill set forth hispositionon theworkofIserinan article to bepublishedintheWinter 1980issueofDiacritics.[-Ed.]
diacritics/June1980iacritics/June1980iacritics/June1980iacritics/June1980iacritics/June1980 577777

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