Me, Myself and Rory

By Achala Upendran (Blog: Where the Dog Star Rages)

I’m of the firm opinion that what you take away from a book, movie or show, even a song, depends upon your state of mind when you first encounter it. This isn’t a particularly groundbreaking, original thought. Reader-response theory relies on it, as do feminist, postcolonial and other ‘ism’ schools, which hold that a work and its value are defined by the context within which it operates (which is largely determined by the powers-that-be), its negotiation of those powers, and the position of the reader, who brings to it his/her own experiences and predispositions. It’s totally possible for someone to read The Lord of the Rings, for instance, and see a militant declaration of war against industrialization, and just as possible for someone else to see a world that clamps down on modernity and technology in favour of a bucolic vision of the feudal/pastoral set-up.

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