Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The reader as collaborator in Coleridge's fragments “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, “Christabel,” and “Kubla Khan”: Kindling “Native flames” rather than reflecting “Alien fires”
by Hume, Donald Michael, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2010, 155; 1490388
Abstract (Summary)

The thesis argues that Coleridge incorporated readers' responses in his composition of three major poems. Coleridge's use of reader-response is documented in his revisions of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. While responding to critical complaints, Coleridge adds another voice, the gloss, which challenges the verse's authority by adding details and announcing conclusions unfounded in the verse. When writing "Christabel," Coleridge drew upon his recognition of the reader's active participation in the creation of meaning. He uses techniques similar to those used in Ancient Mariner, creating tension between voices, ultimately leaving the reader's voice alone at the end of the fragment. In "Kubla Khan" Coleridge uses reader-response techniques to lead the reader in the direction of desiring a concrete outcome, just as the Khan desired a definite boundary around his garden. Coleridge does this to point out the necessity for the reader to be an equal and active participant in the creation of meaning.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lau, Beth
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: British and Irish literature
Publication Number: 1490388
ISBN: 978-1-124-54858-6
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