On the other hand, there might be external evidence
from Eliot or an authoritative source, that the text
does have an implied reader.

Given the possibilities of translation, I seriously
doubt that there can be a general assumption of an implied
reader. If one were to take Pound/Riahaku/Li Po's implied
reader of "The River Merchant's Wife: a Letter" as an example,
there is only ONE implied reader. Perhaps you were inferring
a reader.


-----Original Message-----
From: Carrol Cox
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 2004-Jun-29 6:08 PM
Subject: Implied Readers Re: cargo

Peter Montgomery wrote:
> I don't wish to be contentious here. Is there a solid backing
> for knowng that Eliot had an implied reader, and was not just
> speaking as the sybil lets the wind scatter the leaves where
> they might go?

"Implied reader" is an analytical, not an empirical, concept. Every
text, willy-nilly, has an implied reader. Empirical data (contemporary
usage, other works by the author, etc.) can be used to describe that
reader, but his/her existence is a given.???

The implied reader of this text reads English and has some familiarity
with the history of literary criticism after 1960. And that description
is after the fact: that is, I wasn't consciously thinking of any implied
reader when I wrote the preceding paragraph, but chose to focus on it in
this paragraph in looking for an example. So you couldn't confirm or
disconfirm the accuracy of this paragraph with respect to the preceding
paragraph by asking me. :-)