Before Reading: Narrative Conventions and the Politics of Interpretation

Peter J. Rabinowitz is a professor of comparative literature at Hamilton College. He coedited Understanding Narrative with James Phelan and coauthored Authorizing Readers: Resistance and Respect in the Teaching of Literature with Michael W. Smith.


“A landmark book, one that makes important and original contributions to reader-response theory, ideological criticism, and current work on canon formation.”

“This study is provocative, nicely illustrated, clearly aware of work in literary hermeneutics. It usefully systematizes insights based upon actual classroom practice, a feature too often absent from critical work.”

“This is a well-written theoretical discussion in favour of the new hermeneutics of reader-centered criticism. . . . An admirable book, warmly recommended to comparatists.”
Literary Research

“The book is ambitious and daring, filled with objections to the canonical critics of our time—Gerald Prince, Jonathan Culler, Umberto Eco, Stanley Fish, Wolfgang Iser, to name only a few. . . . A pleasure to read.”
Philosophy and Literature

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