The Range of Interpretation
By (author) Wolfgang Iser
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Range of Interpretation by Wolfgang Iser
Book DescriptionThere is a tacit assumption that interpretation comes naturally, that human beings live by constantly interpreting. In this sense, we might even rephrase Descartes by saying: We interpret, therefore we are. While such a basic human disposition makes interpretation appear to come naturally, the forms it takes, however, do not. In this work, Iser offers a fresh approach by formulating an "anatomy of interpretation" through which we can understand the act of interpretation in its many different manifestations. For Iser, there are several different genres of interpretation, all of which are acts of translation designed to transpose something into something else. Perhaps the most obvious example of interpretation involves canonical texts, such as the Rabbinical exegesis of the Torah or Samuel Johnson's reading of Shakespeare. But what happens when the matter that one seeks to interpret consists not of a text but of a welter of fragments, as in the study of history, or when something is hidden, as in the practice of psychoanalysis, or is as complex as a culture or system? Iser details how, in each of these cases, the space that is opened up by interpretation is negotiated in a different way, thus concluding that interpretation always depends on what it seeks to translate. For students of philosophy, literary and critical theory, anthropology, and cultural history, Iser's elucidation of the mechanics by which we translate and understand, as well as his assessment of the anthropological roots of our drive to make meaning, will undoubtedly serve as a revelation.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780231119030
(229mm x 154mm x 12mm)
Imprint: Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publish Date: 28-Aug-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Wolfgang Iser
Walter Pater, Paperback (February 2011)
Within this text, first published in German in 1960, the influential German literary scholar Wolfgang Iser writes engagingly of Pater's aesthetic.
How to Do Theory, Paperback (July 2005)
* An introduction to modern theories of literature and the arts. * Represents a wide variety of theories, including phenomenological theory, hermeneutical theory, gestalt theory, reception theory, semiotic theory, Marxist theory, deconstruction, anthropological theory, and feminist theory.
Fictive and the Imaginary, Paperback (March 1993)
Ranging from the Renaissance pastoral to Coleridge to Sartre and Beckett, The Fictive and the Imaginary is a distinguished work of scholarship from one of Europe's most respected and influential critics.
Prospecting, Paperback (February 1993)» View all books by Wolfgang Iser
Why do we need literature and what does this need tell us about human nature? Iser shows how these questions come from his work on reader-response criticism and that the answers may lie in the new field of literary anthropology. He relates theoretical issues to analyses of individual works.
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Author Biography - Wolfgang Iser
Wolfgang Iser is professor of comparative literature at the University of Konstanz, Germany, and professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. He is best known for his works The Implied Reader: Patterns of Communication in Prose Fiction from Bunyan to Beckett; The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response; Prospecting: From Reader Response to Literary Anthropology; and The Fictive and the Imaginary: Charting Literary Anthropology.
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