February 7, 2007

Go Journalism! - All About the Interview

It is therefore not only sound but necessary for the interpreter to inquire, "What in all probability did the author mean? Is the pattern of emphases I construe the author's pattern?" But it is both incorrect and futile to inquire, "What does the language of the text say?" That question can have no determinate answer.
E. D. Hirsch, Jr. "Objective Interpretation"

I am in complete disagreement with E. D. Hirsch on this point concerning authorial intent.

What E. D. Hirsch seems to be arguing for is not an emphasis for critical textual analysis, but rather for interpretative psychology. He is looking at the text as the product to be examined in order to figure out the mental on-goings of the author; not as a piece of literature.

If this is truly the important aspect that we require of literature, why not stick to the backbone of solid journalism - the interview? In an interview you've got the author right there to figure out what was going on inside their head concerning their text. Similar to a counseling session . . .

True, it isn't always possible to actually sit down and interview the author (but wouldn't it be cool to talk to Shakespeare? Not that we would understand all the turn of phrases he used or he us, but, come on! its Shakespeare!) I concede the point. I have a feeling that if a written interview with Shakespeare was discovered though, this would be like music to the ears of critics like E. D. Hirsch. . .

Posted by Diana Geleskie at February 7, 2007 10:35 PM | TrackBack
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