Confession and Complicity in Narrative

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, May 29, 1987 - Literary Criticism - 146 pages
0 Reviews
What is the precise relationship between the writer of a text and the reader? Contributions to reader-response theory have suggested that the reader is relatively passive. In this 1987 text, Professor Foster argues that the relationship is more complex than that: readers enter into complicity with writers and create the illusion of the writer's mastery over meaning in order to imagine themselves as masters and become writers in their own place. This dynamic model of the reading process is revealed most tellingly in 'confessional' narratives and so Professor Foster explores the complex patterns of the reader/writer symbiosis in texts by Augustine, Kierkegaard, Henry James, Hawthorne, Faulkner, and Beckett. What emerges is a fresh theory of reading literature: the engagement between writer and reader as a struggle for power in which the reader is actively complicit and self-conscious in his or her interpretations.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Three exemplary readings
Confessional evasion in The Scarlet
design and desire
the obligation in The Unnamable
the web

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information