The Reader Response Theory in Arabic Criticism Mohammad Al-Mubarak's Book: Istiqbal un-Nass (Text Reception) as an Example
The last century witnessed a lot of changes in world literary criticism. The modern critical approaches with their different philosophical, literary and linguistic attitudes emerged giving us various rules and ways of reading a literary text. These theories were divided into contextual approaches (the historical, psychological and social) paying attention to the author and the political, cultural and psychological changes he/she has undergone and how these changes affected the text through the author and his life.
Critical studies then shifted from the context into text with the emergence of the textual approaches which argue that the critical reading begins with text and ends with it. The critical act moves then from the text to the receiver/reader with the appearance of the reader response theories which focus upon the reader as one of the most important elements of constructing the literary text and participating in it. Amid the tumult of all these studies, there were those who deny the existence of Arabic critical studies concerned with the reader or receiver till Mohamd Al-Mubark pulished his study: Text Reception in Arabic Criticism, tracing in it classical Arab critics' opinions concerning critical reading, its levels and types, the reader, his types and attitudes. This book is an attempt by the author to highlight the ancient Arabic critical heritage and to show the place of Arab critics and their critical potentialities in reading and receiving the literary text.
Keywords: criticism, critical approaches, reader-response theory, ancient Arabic criticism, text reception.