Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Reading The Eve of St. AgnesThe Multiples of Complex Literary Transaction$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jack Stillinger

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130225

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130225.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 March 2020

Why There are so Many Meanings (I)

Why There are so Many Meanings (I)

Complex Readership

Chapter:
(p.79) Four Why There are so Many Meanings (I)
Source:
Reading The Eve of St. Agnes
Author(s):

Jack Stillinger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130225.003.0004

This chapter further develops the book’s premise that each individual reader’s experience of a complex literary piece is unique. As illustrated by the voluminous interpretations of John Keats’s “The Eve of St. Agnes” documented in the previous chapter, the author stresses that, even in professional literary circles, many valid understandings of the poem exist. The reason for this diversity is explained through the multifaceted nature of the literary work being studied and its readership’s unique perceptions as well. A complex literary piece provides a nearly overwhelming number of avenues for interpretation in each line and word, which an individual reader, with distinct and diverse ways of experiencing things, struggles to understand. The reading experiences of each individual are further enriched and complicated by one’s boundless creativity, combined with the collective understanding and interpretation of a literary piece’s entire readership since its creation.

Keywords:   John Keats, St. Agnes, poem, readers, interpretation, literary piece, creativity

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .