Resurfacing of the Literary Public Sphere: Interpreting Pattern Change in the New Media
AbstractThis paper examines the literary criticism which has burgeoned in the New Media, foregrounding the pattern change in the text-interpreting process with the help of Relevance Theory (Sperber and Wilson, 2002) and Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (Habermas, 1962). According to Relevance Theory, the discourse initiator (writer) wants the discourse recipient (reader) to consider what is being communicated as the most relevant, which constitute "cognitive effects" and which may be applied for interpreting any communicative event. Thus the study contends that such a pragmatic approach enables us to critically engage with the readerâ€™s behaviour facilitating literary study in the digital humanities and further helps in evaluating and determining the requirements of a reader in conjunction with the expectations of a writer. So with these literary forums, literature and literary criticism no longer exist in isolation as in earlier times. Their dissemination to a much wider public has given rise to a new media reader as well as critic. Furthermore, the paper posits that these literary forums may be identified as the "literary public sphere" of Habermas (1962). The study focuses on four Indian diasporic writers, Kiran Desai, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Amitav Ghosh and Rohinton Mistry, and their community review in an online literary forum website: www.goodreads.com.
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