Wednesday, June 01, 2016

It's never the same text twice...

Texts are not inert objects acted upon methodologically by a reader who discovers the one correct meaning. Rather, texts have numerous (though not infinite) meanings, what is sometimes referred to as a surplus of meaning. A reader comes to the text from a particular point, with questions, and this stimulates the interpretive process that births meaning. The inexhaustible nature of a text, its polysemy, permits continued rereadings, the occasion for which is created by the context of the reader. After all, as Eco notes, the background of the reader is typically different than the author’s, but this can be the fertile ground that raises new questions that drive rereadings.— Reading the Way to Heaven, pages 125–26 (emphasis original)

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