FIND in
<--prev V212 next-->
From: "Chris" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Get a bigger hammer
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 17:35:15 +0000

Roy: I don't disagree with a lot of what you've said, so I won't go point by 
point. What I feel you've overlooked, though, is that I mentioned *two* 
types of interpretation, of which you are looking at the second. The *first* 
is the one that is concerned with authorial intent, and can be the source of 
misinterpretation of the author.

The second, as I presented it, should never be employed with *any* 
pretension of being able to present what the author actually meant. It is 
commonly used in cases where the text simply can't be "decoded" using the 
material at hand. I see it often used with Wolfe - though quite often 
incorrectly, where someone has conflated the two methods and, like you 
describe, got it into their head that what they think sounds good *must* be 
what Wolfe meant. But perhaps a better example of what I'm talking about 
would be the Art of War, or even better the I Ching. These texts are 
renowned for their ability to be interpreted distinctly out of context - and 
yet still yield readings that are often applicable to a vast variety of 
things. The author's intent is cast aside quite early in that process.


(Point taken on the cheese)

>Chris wrote:
> >The second possibility is to, as a reader, come up with a reading of the
> >text that is as aesthetically pleasing (to you) as you can. In this sense
> >are in some way pushing each other to come up with more beautiful
> >interpretations in consistency, form, and symmetry among other things - 
> >in this context, what the author *meant* has little if anything to do 
> >matters.
>I cannot agree. Authorial intent is not to be dismissed so casually.
>Propagandists of one stripe or another have historically cited respected,
>even revered, sources in support of their cause. The Bible is a good
>example. Verses can be (and have been) quoted from it that would seem to
>justify a whole host of evils, from slavery to war to genocide. The Nazis
>quoted Nietzsche.

Add photos to your messages with MSN 8. Get 2 months FREE*. 


<--prev V212 next-->