Authors, Readers, and the Mediations of Print Culture

Authored by: Kirsten Silva Gruesz

The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  October  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415666060
eBook ISBN: 9780203097199
Adobe ISBN: 9781136221613


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Where does the meaning of a literary work reside? Our learned reflex is to plunge deep into the text, searching out meanings we assume the author has buried for us to find. But the absent communication between writer and reader is enabled, influenced, and sometimes interrupted by a host of other people: agents, editors, marketers, critics, reviewers, advertisers, librarians, and translators. The exchange is mediated as well by the object that contains the text: whether printed on paper or keyboarded into appearance on a backlit screen, books are embedded in the physical world – produced by the transformation of natural and chemical resources, distributed as a commodity within an economic supply chain, transmitted and stored in ways that reflect a society’s values about writing itself. Together these historical, material, and ideological circumstances comprise the conditions of possibility of making meaning from texts.

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