Chapter

. Boccaccio, Cervantes, and the Path to Solitary Reading

Benjamin Bennett

in The Dark Side of Literacy

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780823229161
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241002 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823229161.003.0005
. Boccaccio, Cervantes, and the Path to Solitary Reading

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The act or practice of reading has a totalitarian tendency to subject readers to passive receipt of information and to evoke in them sentiments strongly and undeniably reflective of any given author's. However, reading may also allow each reader to formulate his or her own opinions and act on them in real-world settings, for instance, by relating to persons who perhaps share a similar standpoint or perceive the text's meaning in a similar manner. In this chapter, the author argues that the sixteenth century fostered an era of solitary reading as the contingent individual and the modern reader are further defined and compared. The text thereby investigates the microscopic (individualistic nature) and macroscopic (intertextual nature) faces of reading and focuses on the influential premises of the renowned poets and scholars Giovanni Boccaccio and Miguel de Cervantes.

Keywords: contingent individual; Boccaccio; Cervantes; solitary reading

Chapter.  19992 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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