Questions tagged [reception]

Questions about how audiences responded to specific literary works, including theories about the reception of literary works. This can cover both qualitative and quantitative aspects (e.g. sales figures). This tag should not be used for questions about how one author influenced another or for questions specifically about meaning or interpretation.

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When and where did Thomas Mann say that Effi Briest is one of the six best novels in his library?

Theodor Fontane's novel Effi Briest is often taught at German schools. The Wikipedia article about the novel has a section on the novel's legacy which says, [Thomas] Mann said that if one had to ...
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Evidence that "What is an author?" and "The death of the author" had a bombshell effect?

The French Wikipedia article about Roland Barthes has a section on the literary critic's essay "The death of the author" containing the following statement: Conjugué à la conférence de ...
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Evidence that many early readers misunderstood A Modest Proposal as a serious recommendation?

The Wikipedia article on satire has a section on censorship and criticsim which contains the following claim (emphasis added): For instance, at the time of its publication, many people misunderstood ...
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Attitudes among literary critics to literary fiction featuring closed time loops? [closed]

I am looking for an explanation, with examples and citations, of the attitudes of professional literary critics1 in established publications2 towards published fiction3 involving a closed time loop4. ...
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How did the relationships in Henry James' "The Golden Bowl" strike contemporary readers?

In The Golden Bowl, the main characters are a woman (Maggie Verver), her father (Adam Verver), her friend (Charlotte Stant), and her husband (Prince Amerigo). Maggie seems to encourage Charlotte and ...
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Why did Victor Pelevin's books fail to get such popularity as they had in Russia? [closed]

Victor Pelevin is presumably the most best-selling contemporary writer in Russia. Several of his books have been translated to English, but none of them became even slightly popular among the Western ...
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What did the students at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind think of "Redwall"?

The Redwall series was originally written by Jacques for the students of the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind. This is pretty well documented, from the official website (click on "About Brian&...
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How does the trans community view Gore Vidal's *Myra Breckinridge*?

Gore Vidal's Myra Breckinridge (1968) was perhaps the first major novel in English to have a transgender protagonist. Myra, née Myron, undergoes gender confirmation surgery. In order to retain Myron's ...
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Since when do the Portuguese regard The Lusiads as their national epic?

According to Wikipedia, Os Lusíadas is often regarded as Portugal's national epic, much as Virgil's Aeneid was for the Ancient Romans, or Homer's Iliad and Odyssey for the Ancient Greeks. The ...
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How were Susan Coolidge's Katy novels received in Victorian Britain?

Susan Coolidge is the pen name of Sarah Chaucey Woolsey (1835–1905). Beginning in 1872, Coolidge published a series of stories about the Carr family. The chief character in most of them is the oldest ...
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Why do readers dislike Vronsky in the early part of the novel?

Anna Karenina, the first novel of Count Leo Tolstoy is about the life of Anna (mainly) and her lover Vronsky (I know it is not possible to say what the novel is about but for this particular ...
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Was Fontane's Tay Bridge poem compared to McGonagall's at the time?

The Tay Bridge Disaster is one of the most famous bridge collapses. It inspired a universally reviled (yet nevertheless wildly (in)famous) poem from William McGonagall, "The Tay Bridge Disaster&...
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Is there a commonly accepted way to measure the relative "popularity" of Shakespeare plays?

A mention in this answer of the "popularity" of Richard III, compared with some of Shakespeare's other history plays, made me wonder if this claim can be quantified. Of course there are ...
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How was "Symptoms of Being Human" received by the queer community?

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin tells the story of Riley, and the story of her navigating a new school, people bullying him, and being outed as genderfluid to their family. Recently on Writing ...
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How did Maupassant's contemporaries respond to his play Musotte?

As I mentioned in an earlier question, it is a little-known fact that Maupassant did not only write narrative prose but also plays. The French Wikipedia article lists several plays by Maupassant: ...
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How did Maupassant's contemporaries respond to his play Une répétition?

Guy de Maupassant is best known as an author of short stories and novels. It is less well known that he also wrote plays. The English Wikipedia article about the author only mentions his early comedy ...
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How to measure the reception of a literary work

A while back I asked on anoher SE "Which, originally non-English, work has the widest reception in English SF?". Shortly after the question was closed for being opinion based. Now another user ...
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Perception of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet by contemporaries

It is a common trope that high schoolers, and perhaps many more people, view Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as overdone and somewhat cheesy and shallow, for lack of better words. Would it have been ...
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What was the public's initial reaction to Virginia Woolf's Orlando?

Orlando is about an immortal man who changes into a woman. Originally Woolf wanted to write about a bisexual character but the laws of the time wouldn't allow it, so this was her way of compromising ...
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How did contemporary readers respond to coincidence in 19th century novels?

Reading 19th century literature in the 21st century, it is often striking how often the plot turns on often quite outrageous coincidences. Frequently this happens when a relatively small cast of ...
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What is the Pasifika response to "Nation"?

Pratchett's Nation was recommended to me because it depicts an alternate reality version of Pasifika cultures, faiths, and traditions. A quick glance at Wikipedia tells me it's got cannibals and ...
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How was "A Passage to India" received in Britain and India?

E. M. Forster's A Passage to India was published in 1924, in the decade after the Indian independence movement really started to gather steam. Forster incorporated this into his novel, showing the ...