Interpreting Rabelais an Open Text Reading of an Open Text

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Provides an approach to the author applicable to readers at all levels and degrees of experience. Identifying certain authorial strategies of variety (i.e., visual detail, character function, spatiality and temporality) it indicates how these are combined to create a textual pattern which maximises the reader's initiative and allows him as reader to enjoy literary freedom. It seeks at once to define more clearly such notions as polyphony and polyvalency already introduced to Rabelais studies by Bakhtin and Baraz, to add to them a number of other headings (polylexy, polychromy, etc.) appropriate to other areas of Rabelais' technique, but at the same time to prevent these terms from establishing a set of rigid schemata which would betray the fluidity of a universally open text.

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