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Contract with the reader

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Contract with the reader

The reader's set of expectations that the writer must fulfill. (Source: Fritz Freiheit) (e)

From Joyce Carol Oates' intro to a collection of H. P. Lovecraft stories:

Readers of genre fiction, unlike readers of what we presume to call "literary fiction," assume a tacit contract between themselves and the writer: they understand that they will be manipulated, but the question is how? and when? and with what skill? and to what purpose? However plot-ridden, fantastical or absurd, populated by whatever pseudo-characters, genre fiction is always resolved, while literary fiction makes no such promises; there is no contract between reader and writer for, in theory at least, each work of literary fiction is original, and, in essence, "about" its own language; anything can happen, or, upon occasion, nothing. Genre fiction is addictive, literary fiction, unfortunately, is not.

from: http://www.tommoody.us/archives/2008/10/29/thoughts-on-genre/



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