Who's Reading Whose Reading?

Author: John Mascaro (University of California–Los Angeles)

  • Who's Reading Whose Reading?


    Who's Reading Whose Reading?



n Literature and Domination, M. Keith Booker extends the ideas developed in his 1991 Techniques of Subversion in Modern Literature by exploring the ways twentieth-century literature both thematically presents and dramatically enacts strategies of domination, oppression, resistance and subversion. These strategies, spreading outward through text and reader, reader and reader's self, that self and society, reveal a web of linkages encompassing the literature, politics and philosophy of this century. Booker analyzes the complex analogy between the urge to dominate–whether text's urge to dominate reader, reader's urge to dominate text, criticism's urge to dominate both reader and text, society's urge to dominate the self, the self's urge to dominate the other, etc. –and the act of literary interpretation. Ultimately, he wants to link his efforts to contemporary critical and philosophical trends which find the fundamental sin of Western culture to be its legacy of rationalism and bourgeois individualism spawned–according to the neo-Marxism of Adorno and Horkheimer–by the Enlightenment.

How to Cite:

Mascaro, J., (1994) “Who's Reading Whose Reading?”, Pynchon Notes , 188-191. doi:

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Published on
22 Sep 1994