6 oct. 2010

A grad student I had once had to do a textual analysis for me. He chose a poem by Antonio Machado and come up with something that had nothing to do with the poem, some religious analysis. I made him do it again, and he came up with a totally new interpretation, equally unconnected with any of the contents of the poem, and with no relation to his first reading. I forget what happened with his third revision. Maybe I just gave up or he did. Somehow he had gotten it into his head that the meaning of a poem was something hidden from view. He refused to look at the poem itself. He just kept coming at me with damn "interpretations" of it.

2 comentarios:

Joseph Hutchison dijo...

Not only grad students but ordinary people do this. We're all trained to do it in school—at least in my experience. But it's not just poetry. People do it with their own lives and the world around them. (See under "psychology" and "religion".) "The knowing animals are aware / that we are not really at home in our interpreted world," Rilke says, even as he interprets the attitude of animals....

Thomas dijo...

Reminds me of "Agassiz and the Fish". But I've come to like this image even more:

"If ... the artist finds himself constrained, by any consideration of expression, treatment or style, or by his deference to the peculiar nature and limitations of his tools and materials, to adopt or invent a convention or a symbol and to substitute the semblance of a bunch of bananas or a bent fork for a representation of the human hand, then the particular problem dealt with in this book does not arise." (Oliver Senior, How to Draw Hands)

More here.