Reading and the Body: The Physical Practice of Reading

Reading and the Body: The Physical Practice of Reading book cover
Thomas McLaughlin
Published Books

"Throughout the years, literary theory has been dominated by a mind/body dualism, often dismissing the role of the body in reading. Challenging these assumptions, Reading and the Body focuses on reading as a physical practice. In addition to analyzing the role of the eyes, the hands, postures and gestures, bodily habits, and physical spaces in the act of reading, Thomas Mc Laughlin speculates on the implications of this embodiment for the interpretive process. The practice of reading imposes strict physical disciplines on the body, but it also encourages intelligent adaptations and improvisations that mark each reader as a unique reading body. The movement from the codex to the hypertext has created new challenges and opportunities for the reading body, which must now be more adaptable and improvisatory than ever in order to interact with new material forms of textuality. By focusing on specific physical habits and procedures, Reading and the Body reframes our understanding of hermeneutics as an achievement of the human body."