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El texto literario como comunicación
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Task 1. Scan and Answer Questions. This section introduces the analysis of the narrative. Scan the third paragraph on page 10 and answer the following questions, making note of the sentence(s) that provide(s) the answers.

What is a literary text?
According to some literary critics, it is the reader’s responsibility to determine the meaning put forth by the writer. Others feel it is the reader himself/herself who gives meaning to the text. In each of those cases, what is the relationship between the reader and the text?
In your opinion, what is the role of the reader? Do you agree with the first case presented above, the second case, or do you have your own perspective?

Task 2. Scan and Answer Questions. According to the authors, any method can be used to analyze a text as long as it explains or clarifies the text itself. However, there are two things that a critical reading of a text must avoid. Scan the fourth paragraph (beginning on p.10) for answers to the following questions.

What are the two things that must be avoided in a critical reading of a text? Provide a definition for each of them.
Carefully re-read the last two sentences of the paragraph, on page 11. Paraphrase the sentences, then determine what they mean to you as the reader and interpreter of a literary text.

Task 3. Skim and Scan for Information. On pages 12–13, the authors define three elements essential to written communication: the writer, the text, and the reader. It is important to understand how the authors define these communicative elements, the key words that trigger them, and the role they play in the narrative. The following Study Hint provides a reading strategy based on skimming and scanning to extract pertinent information from a section of text. Follow the steps presented in the Study Hint to define el emisor = el autor o el narrador.


Study Hint: Extracting Pertinent Information

Step 1. Skim the section you are reading to get the main idea. Write one or two sentences summarizing the gist.

Step 2. Scan for sentences that contain verbs generally used for descriptions (ser, poder ser, hacer, and so on). Make note of these descriptive sentences.

Step 3. Scan for other verbs that might describe or provide an example of the function of the communicative elements. (Note: Statements that begin with Si [If] are usually hypothetical examples.)

Step 4. Read the entire section again and put the pieces together in your mind. Make note of problematic language or grammar and discuss it with a study group, or formulate questions to bring to class.

Step 5. Document all of the information you can recall on the function of each communicative element without looking at the text. Then go back to the text and elaborate on your answer.

Task 4. Apply. Use the steps presented in the Study Hint to define the other two communicative elements.

el mensaje = el texto:
el receptor = el lector:

Task 5. Complete Information. Fill in the following spaces with the information from Tasks 3 and 4. Then compare your chart with those of a study group and, together, add any relevant information you may have left out.


Communicative Element: el autor

Key Words:



Communicative Element: el texto

Key Words:



Communicative Element: el lector

Key Words:


Task 6. Paraphrase and Explain. In the last two sentences of this section (p.13), the authors explain the role of the reader of the narrative: “Todos nosotros seremos lectores reales de las obras que leamos. Nosotros somos los lectores del texto escrito por el autor, mientras que en el mundo ficticio el narratario es el lector de lo «escrito» por el narrador.”

Paraphrase these statements.
Individually or with a study group, discuss the authors' explanation of the role of the reader and what it implies for you as a reader / as readers of a narrative.

Task 7. Summarize.

Write a summary, in Spanish, of all the information you have gathered about the communicative elements of a narrative and how they relate to each other.

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