By Hans Jauss
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Extra info for Toward an Aesthetic of Reception
68 From this premise, the question as to how literary history can today be methodologically grounded and written anew will be addressed in the following seven theses. VI Thesis 1. A renewal of literary history demands the removal of the prejudices of historical objectivism and the grounding of the traditional aesthetics of production and representation in an aesthetics of reception and influence. The historicity of literature rests not on an organization of "literary facts" that is established post festum, but rather on the preceding experience of the literary work by its readers.
This dialectical relationship between the production of the new and the reproduction of the old can be grasped by the theory of reflection only when it no longer insists on the homogeneity of the contemporary in the temporal misrepresentation of a harmonizing arrangement of social conditions and the literary phenomena reflecting them, side by side. With this step, however, Marxist aesthetics arrives at a difficulty that Marx already foresaw: "the unequal relationship of the development of the material production .
This undialectical one-sidedness is also not eliminated when, with Lucien Goldmann, one reforms the connection between literature and social reality along the "homology" of structures instead of contents. 48 So here too, as already with Lukacs, literary production remains confined to a secondary function, always only reproducing in harmonious parallel with the economic process. This harmonization of "objective signification" and "coherent expression," of given social structure and imitative artistic phenomenon, implicitly presupposes the classicidealist unity of content and form, essence and appearance49 —only now, in place of the idea, the material side, that is, the economic factor, is explained as substance.