The Performance of Reading: An Essay in the Philosophy of Literature
The Performance of Reading.
"Kivy's is a highly welcome book … .One hopes that Kivy's highly original, thought-provoking book betokens a new wave of scholarship." (Eighteenth-Century Studies)
"As always, [Kivy's] style is clear, lively, and engaging. In The Performance of Reading he offers a bold new interpretation of what the reading of literature is. The thesis of this monograph is simple: reading literature is a performance--more precisely, a silent one. 'I read, therefore I perform' ... Readers have an 'experience' not different from the one the ancients had when Homer was performed. It is still as if a voice in one's head is telling a story. Overall, this work is a wonderful addition to the understanding of literature." (Choice)
- An original and insightful exploration of the act of reading by the leading scholar in the field
- Discusses the history of reading and the transitions from reading aloud to reading silently, and the changing role of literature as communal, active experience to a more private endeavor
- Explores provocative analogies between "silent" reading of literature and artistic performance
- Suggests a deeper understanding an appreciation of literary works through fashioning the reader as performer