First reading the title "The Writer's Audience is Always a Fiction" threw me off and had me worried about what intellectual arguments that Ong was going to write about in this article. The more I read the more I began to understand and relate with the argument that a writers argument is a fiction. A couple of passages stood out to me while reading this passage besides the obvious breakdown of what is meant by saying that audience is always a fiction.
- "Audience"- is a collective noun. Page 11.
- "Readership" is not a collective noun. Page 11.
This describes how in different situations of listening and reading the audience is engaged differently. When an audience is listening he/she receives the same message at the same time. An Audience is a Unit. Yes you can have cases where there are members in the audience who are not engaged to the speaker but he/she is in the moment and presence of the speaker. Where readers interpret and read at different paces. The audience is not active at the same time, many different interpretations are happening, different variations of the text are being made. Readership is exercised individually.
This helps with the idea of a writer's audience being a fiction. The writer has to imagine everything that the readers will interpret. The readers must be present in the situation. The reader must then carry on the role in which the writer is trying to give. This is in my opinion makes the audience a fiction.