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The aim of the paper is to make an attempt of theoretical synthesis connected with the idea of reception studies. It presents major aspects which are crucial for understanding the reception studies, especially for the reception of antiquity in Victorian literature (for instance chosen critical approaches to literature, contemporary tools for conducting the research like intertextuality). The paper also presents definitions of classics, classical tradition and reception and tries to explain why Victorian times and literature are a perfect research material to examine the reception of antiquity.
The present paper describes a reader-response experiment focusing on the perception of the genre of the fantastic. It also proposes an update of the genre’s structuralist definition to better conform to contemporary cognitive research. Participants answered questions relating to the interpretation of events and important symbols in a Neil Gaiman short story and were also asked if they considered the story “fantasy” or “realistic fiction.” Tzvetan Todorov characterized the fantastic as a hesitation between the uncanny (realistic interpretation) and the marvelous (supernatural interpretation). Neil Gaiman, a popular contemporary author of genre fiction, has utilized this hesitation between psychological and supernatural explanations of his stories to great effect. The results show a consistently higher degree of enjoyment in readers who were aware of the dual interpretation and partook in the hesitation. This paper also introduces the concept of quantum cognition into literary theory and explains the benefit of using terminology from this discipline in a reader-response context. The findings of this study could be the first step towards a better understanding of the different ways in which readers cognitively approach the fantastic or genre in general.
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Produsage. New York: Peter Lang. Delanda, Manuel. 2004. Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy. London: Continuum. Drobashenko, Sergei, ed. 1966. Articles, Diaries, Projects (Dziga Vertov, Stat'i, Dnevniki, Zamysly). Moscow: Iskusstvo. Eco, Umberto. 1989. The Open Work. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Elsaesser, Thomas. 2008. ‘Constructive Instability,’ or: The Life of Things as Cinema’s Afterlife?. In Video Vortex Reader: Responses to YouTube, eds. Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer, 13-33. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures. Feldman, Seth. 2007. Vertov after