Friday, 10 August 2012

Beneath Interpretation… When Interpretation Halts

SHUSTERMAN, R. (1991) Beneath Interpretation. In: D.R. HILEY, J.F. BOHMAN, and R. SHUSTERMAN (Eds.) The Interpretive Turn. Cornell University Press. pp102-128

“We seek an interpretation because we are not satisfied with the understanding we already have – feeling it partial, obscure, shallow, fragmented, or simply dull – and we want to make it fuller or more adequate. Yet the superior interpretation sought must be guided by that prior inadequate understanding. We no longer feel the need to interpret further when the new, fuller understanding that interpretation has supplied is felt to be satisfactory.” (p123)

To seek interpretation is to not be satisfied with our existing understanding, but this pre-understanding guides our seeking for new interpretations. Once the new understanding is satisfied by the new interpretation then the interpretive process halts. 

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