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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Cross-cultural reader response to original and translated poetry: An empirical study in four languages
Author(s): Chesnokova, Anna
Zyngier, Sonia
Viana, Vander
Jandre, Juliana
Rumbesht, Anna
Ribeiro, Fernanda
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Keywords: Reader response
cultural differences
poetry reading
empirical research
quantitative methods
Issue Date: 31-Dec-2017
Date Deposited: 1-Dec-2017
Citation: Chesnokova A, Zyngier S, Viana V, Jandre J, Rumbesht A & Ribeiro F (2017) Cross-cultural reader response to original and translated poetry: An empirical study in four languages. Comparative Literature Studies, 54 (4), pp. 824-849.
Abstract: In recent years, researchers have conducted empirical studies in reader response, which have either contested or confirmed earlier theories. Indeed, the 1970s and 1980s saw the shift from interpreting the page to looking into reading processes, but the studies remained on the level of abstraction. Our study follows the trend towards evidence-grounded investigations by examining real readers’ reactions to poetry and innovates by looking into cross-cultural receptions of a poem in its original and translated versions. To verify whether responses to poetry are universal or culture specific, a rigorous method was adopted: 500 humanities undergraduate students from two different countries (Brazil and Ukraine) were asked to read Poe’s “The Lake” and to gauge their reactions using a questionnaire with a fifteen-item semantic differential scale. Participants read either the original version in English (i.e., a foreign language to them) or its translation into their mother tongue (Portuguese, Russian, or Ukrainian). The results point to statistically significant differences within and between the groups. The findings indicate that first-hand responses to poetry are largely culture specific and that the translations also influence reactions.
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Comparative Literature Studies, 2017, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp. 824-849 by Penn State University Press. The original publication is available at:

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