What two aspects of a literary work must be studied in order to understand it? (1673, its structure and its recipient)
What distinction does Iser make between the “artistic” (author) and the “aesthetic” (realization of text in mind of reader)? (1674)
What creates a “work” of literature, in Iser’s schema? (1674) How does this view cause him to differ with other critics such as Jung or Barthes?
What is the “virtual text,” and how is it created? (1674, dynamic between reader and text) How does the reader receive the text?
What ideas of communication propounded by R. D. Laing does he find useful in interpreting the reading process? (1674-76, notion that we cannot directly experience others’ experience of ourselves; reader must fill in gaps in text through interpretation, no-thing between, 1675)
What are the limitations of the relationship between the text and its reader? (1675, reader cannot learn from the text how accurate or inaccurate are his/her views of it; fails to have specific purpose arising from the social context as a human interaction may have; reader must reassemble guiding codes)
What are “gaps” in the text, and how may these be overcome? (1675-77) What does it mean to say that there is an asymmetry between text and reader, and what is the result of this? (1676, indeterminacy)
What effect is created by the interaction of a text and reader? (1676, variety of possible communications; “enduring form of life” which includes implications of what has not been said, implications give shape and weight to meaning)
How is meaning caused by the interaction of the explicit and the implicit, revelation and concealment? (1676, the said "expands" to take on greater significance)
What does it mean to say that structured blanks in the text serve to stimulate the process of ideation intended by the text? (1677) What are negations in the text, and do they entirely cancel earlier associations or coexist with them? (1677)
How do these gaps occur and how are they bridged? (1677)
What four positions or perspectives does Iser believe are possible in a text? (1677, narrator, characters, plot, fictitious reader) How does each contribute to the meaning of a text? (1677)
How may these perspectives/functions be subdivided? (e. g. authorial narrator, narrator in text, major and minor characters, subplots, different audiences)
How is the number of blanks increased? (1677, by splitting each of the perspectives, such as between implied author and author as narrator)
How are the perspectives of each related in the reading process? (1678) What happens when the reader organizes the positions surrounding the blank? (1678, produces a determinate relationship; hightlights their affinities and differences)
How does Iser describe the changes which occur in the process of reading? (1678-79, new themes introduced) What distinction does he make between vacancies and blanks, and how do the former also add to the reading process? (1679, marginal position is vacancy)
What are some features of his reading of Tom Jones? (1680) Can you apply Iser’s terms and theories to other texts?
What does it mean to say that “the vacancy transforms the referential field of the moving viewpoint into a self-regulating structure, . . . which prevents the reciprocal transformation of textual segments from being arbitrary”? (1681)
How is the reader active in the reading process? (1681) What kinds of texts might prompt more of such involvement?
How does the process of reading appear to the reader? (1681-82, through a series of images colliding in the mind in the time flow of reading; these hang together in a sequence)
To what extent can one say that reading resembles watching a series of pictures or a movie? (1682)
How do Iser’s views resemble those of other critics we have read, such as Bakhtin, Jauss or Benjamin? What does he add?
For which kinds of texts would the application of Iser's views be especially appropriate? (allegorical, symbolic, or complexly narrated texts)
page numbers are from the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2001, 1673-82