Dogsical Reading: Gravity's Rainbow's Reversals and Reader Response Criticism



Gravity's Rainbow has been stimulus to a number of responses that range from traditional hermeneutics to the so-called post-hermeneutic approaches of today. When Pynchon's text was published, one of the prevailing movements in literary theory was what has since been known as reader response criticism. Sharing an interest in questions of text-reader interaction–or, to be behavioristic, in aspects of literary stimulus-response schemes–the movement's theoreticians had soon developed such a vast number of rival models that it became inevitable to label the different reader concepts for the sake of clarifying who followed which line. Wild acts of naming ensued, a mania not unlike the one which hit those Nordhausen engineers who were given code names taken from German Expressionist movies. Family name: reader. Alias or first name: arche (Michael Riffaterre), informed (Stanley Fish) or implied (Wolfgang Iser). I shall name my specific Gravity's Rainbow reader Vanya.


How to Cite: Arich, F. (1998) “Dogsical Reading: Gravity's Rainbow's Reversals and Reader Response Criticism”, Pynchon Notes.(0). doi: