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Saturday, January 4, 2014

The meaning of a work

The impulse, so pronounced in undergraduates, and so obvious in untrained minds, the impulse that was fruitfully brought into question in various ways in the 20th century to appeal to history and biography in order to understand the text itself has a history. And it turns out to be another enlightenment/capitalist incursion. We ask not "what does it mean?" but "what did it mean?"Under the guise that we are understanding it, we encase the text in more texts in order to protect ourselves from it, when it is in fact the freedom from what no longer matters that allows the text to bloom.

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