Chapter 7. The Experience of Reading

  1. Garry L. Hagberg Chair2 and
  2. Walter Jost Professor of English3
  1. Peter Kivy Governors Professor of Philosophy past president

Published Online: 17 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444315592.ch7

A Companion to the Philosophy of Literature

A Companion to the Philosophy of Literature

How to Cite

Kivy, P. (2010) The Experience of Reading, in A Companion to the Philosophy of Literature (eds G. L. Hagberg and W. Jost), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444315592.ch7

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of East Anglia, UK

  2. 3

    University of Virginia, USA

Author Information

  1. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 DEC 2009
  2. Published Print: 15 JAN 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405141703

Online ISBN: 9781444315592



  • experience of reading;
  • major fine arts, in Western canon - visual arts of painting and sculpture, music, dance and novel;
  • process of reading - beginning with direct perceptual acquaintance with the novel's text;
  • Reading to Yourself and experience of reading;
  • self-performance and silent performance;
  • reading as interpretation - calling performers “interpreters”;
  • reading as art - performers, referred to as artists;
  • reading and thinking;
  • silent reading as performance;
  • silently read novel appearing to be, like - an art with a text


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Reading to Yourself

  • Self-Performance and Silent Performance

  • Hearing Voices

  • Reading as Interpretation

  • Reading as Art

  • Reading and Thinking

  • Why Should You Believe Me?