On Interpretation

July 26, 2011

I know this isn’t a tumblr, but I just wanted to share a quote that seemed immediately applicable to the podcast discussion of Child of Eden that’s going to show up at some point over at the Moving Pixels blog. My wife, the true academic of the family, pointed me toward the text, and while it could certainly be applied to any work of art, it seems especially applicable to something as abstract as Child of Eden:

The poem, then, must be thought of as an event in time. It is not an object or an ideal entity. It happens during a coming-together, a compenetration, of a reader and a text. The reader brings to the text his past experience and present personality. Under the magnetism of the ordered symbols of the text, he marshals his resources and crystallizes out from the stuff of memory, thought, and feeling a new order, a new experience, which he sees as the poem. This becomes part of the ongoing stream of his life experience, to be reflected on from any angle important to him as a human being.

-Louise Michelle Rosenblatt, The Reader, the Text, the Poem: The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work, Southern Illinois University, 1978

On a semi-related note, I do sometimes wish that when I opened my mouth to talk about something in a semi-intelligent way I could eventually come around to the point I was trying to make. I think I had about a 50% success rate.

Podcast link forthcoming, of course.


One comment

  1. Nah, we all think of what we want to say after the fact, don’t sweat that. I was quite glad of your company all the way through and felt you raised no small number of points I’d never have come up with (so mired in anger as I was). It was wonderful to have you on and I hope it will be the first of many.

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