Originally published in 1986. This collection of essays is unified by one leading idea: that the active and creative abilities of listeners and readers deserve as much attention as the skills of speakers and writers. It is shown that hearers, far from being passive recipients in the communicative process, are in fact active in selecting, interpreting and creating from the disparate signals they receive. Equally, readers are involved in creating individual patterns of significance from a text. In presenting this argument, some essays deal with the importance of gender considerations, some with special modes of writing such as the private diary and literary translations, and others with the more familiar fields of poetry and drama. In the sphere of popular music, distinctions such as ‘folk’ and ‘pop’ indicate special problems in assessing the ‘authenticity’ of a listener’s response. By concentrating on active listening, the collection develops and illustrates the conviction that there are fundamental premises underlying the various disciplines under review, the analysis of which makes for a fuller understanding of communication in all its forms.
Table of Contents
Introduction Graham McGregor and R.S. White 1. Hearers’ Intentions John Pellowe 2. Comprehension and Context: Successful Communication and Communicative Breakdown Lesley Milroy 3. Resolving Misunderstandings Claire Humpreys-Jones 4. Listening Outside the Participation Framework Graham McGregor 5. Heading You in My Own Voice: Woman as Listener and Reader Linda Anderson 6. Analysing the Reader: A Critical Survey of Recent Psychoanalytical Theories of Reading Norbert H. Platz 7. The Nature of Listening in Reading Poetry: A Conversation R. A. Lumsden and John Pellowe 8. Shakespeare and the Listener R. S. White 9. Listening to Her Self: Women’s Diaries Rebecca Hiscock 10. Listening to a Silent Presence: Notes on Collaborating Over a Translation Desmond Graham and Trude Schwab 11. Tom Stoppard and the Politics of Listening Neil Sammells 12. The Dogma of Authenticity in the Experience of Popular Music Michael Pickering
Professor R. S. White teaches at the The University of Western Australia.