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[Commlist] CFP: “On the Reader’s side: Lector in Fabula, Forty Years Later”. Versus, journal of Semiotics and Philosophy of Language

Mon Jan 28 09:06:20 GMT 2019

DEADLINE APPROACHING (30th January 2019): “On the Reader’s side: Lector in Fabula, Forty Years Later”. Versus, journal of Semiotics and Philosophy of Language

The international journal Versus (or VS, as is often known) is preparing
a thematic issue about the 40th anniversary of Umberto Eco's "Lector in
Fabula (The Role of the Reader)". Versus is a Semiotic journal, dealing
also with Theory and Philosophy of language, and it was founded in 1971
by Umberto Eco, who has been its director until February 2016. Versus is
currently directed by Patrizia Violi. Further information about the
journal at <>


( <>) AND FRENCH ( <>)

ISSUE EDITOR: Isabella Pezzini

This issue of Versus has its roots in the 40th anniversary of the
publication, in 1979, of the Italian version of "Lector in fabula. La
cooperazione interpretativa nei testi narrativi", by Umberto Eco (the
same year of the American edition, even if this presents many
significant differences from the original version).

Among Eco’s complete works, Lector in fabula can be regarded as a
fundamental cornerstone: it is both the culmination of previous
researches and the starting point of their further developments. In this
book, Eco’s semantic perspective confirms its textualist option, and
broadens the notion of "text”, elaborated in a Theory of Semiotics among
the modes of sign production, through a more accurate articulation based
on C.S. Peirce’s formulation of an interpretative semiotics, combining
it at the same time with the methodological tools derived from
narratology, pragmatics, logic of possible worlds.

In this book, concepts and ideas already proposed in Opera aperta (1962)
– when Eco was studying the new vanguard artistic movements of those
years, in which the interpreter’s involvement dimension was crucial –
come back in a revised version. Furthermore, contemporary research on
popular literature was confirming the very same principle: in order to
be understood, even before being interpreted, a text requires an active
collaboration by its “user”. In the Lector in fabula, levels of
progressive complexity in textual interpretative cooperation are
accurately identified and articulated.

This approach is made even more explicit in the English edition, both in
the table of content and in the preface, which are structured around
three parts, respectively titled: Open, Closed e Open/closed. Essays and
textual analyses written from 1959 (The Poetics of Open Works) to 1971
(The Myth of Superman) are here included, to introduce the Model Reader

A similar approach will develop in an original theoretical proposal,
constantly balanced between different “reading theories” - semiotic,
aesthetic and hermeneutic - at the time divided between more “technical”
approaches to the reading practice and more phenomenological
perspectives, interested in empiric readers and their historical
dimension. From Lector onwards, Eco will always remain faithful to the
idea of intentio operis, different form intentio autoris an intentio
lectoris. The former has to be respected in order to honor the reading
contract, intended as a form of negotiation between interpretative
freedom and textual constraints. Eco will maintain the same position
also in the postmodern debate about interpretation and deconstruction.
Besides, the following year after publication of the Lector, Eco will
publish his first novel, The Name of the Rose, and from then on a
creative literary activity will complement his theoretical reflection on
Expected contributions to this issue will focus on the several themes
indicated in the call, in particluar:
- Current developments of the debate on interpretation;
- New theoretical contributions (both empirical and critical) related to
reading practices;
- The category of use versus interpretation, especially in comparison to
the new forms of interaction and discussion produced by new media;
- Textual forms fostered by new communication technology, where the
cooperation between Author and Reader evolves in interaction between
enunciators, and where the notion of “beginning” and “end” of a text
become blurry;
- Storytelling and figurative argumentation, typical of literary texts
and today broadly practiced in different fields, from politics to
marketing (with a particular focus on forms of manipulation and
effectiveness on the reader);
- Relation between reading and writing;
- The extension of the notion of Model Reader (its appropriate and/or
methaphoric use), seen as enunciational simulacrum inscribed within the
text to other semiotic forms;

- 30/01/2019: submission of an abstract no longer than 500 words (plus a
bibliography and a short biography)
- 15/02/2019: notification of abstract acceptance or refusal
- 15/06/2019: full paper submission

Abstract will be selected through a preliminary editorial review. All
papers will be double-blind peer reviewed.

Abstract and papers must be sent to the following addresses:
(redazione.vs /at/ <mailto:(redazione.vs /at/> <mailto:(redazione.vs /at/ <mailto:(redazione.vs /at/>> (isabella.pezzini /at/ <mailto:(isabella.pezzini /at/> <mailto:(isabella.pezzini /at/ <mailto:(isabella.pezzini /at/>>

Accepted languages: English, French, Italian.
Publishing style guide at <>

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