Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Reasonable Meaning

From both Rosenblatt and Fish, we have learned that readers will always bring their emotions and experiences to the table when interpreting a meaning of a text. Through the readings and class discussions, I think we can all agree that this is true. How can you read something without projecting your own personal touch on it? It’s hard to do. However, it’s important to note that there is a limit on how we, as readers, can come up with these meanings. In the Fish reading, “Is There a Text in This Class” the limitations are clear, and it all boils down to the context. According to Fish, the meaning of a text can be interpreted by its context and circumstance. Basically you can’t pull a meaning out of thin air and say it’s correct because you said so. Fish is trying to say that anyone can come up with an individual meaning, but it will likely come out of what is commonly known. For example, Fish talked about the “is there a text” question, he said this about his colleague and the student came to a conclusion: “because both my colleague and his student are situated in that institution their interpretations are not free, but their interpretive activities are not free, but what constrains them are the understood practices and assumptions of the institution” (306). Meaning that their interpretations of the question should be relatively similar, and come from the same place.

My artwork is of a light bulb, which is representative of a text. The light it gives off is representative of the context that a reader will draw from to find their meaning of the text. The meaning a reader will find has to be related and congruent with what it is that they’re reading. 

1 comment:

  1. "Congruent" is a very nice word choice for the process, I think-- the text and reader sort of align within a context, and thus comes meaning. You can see a lot of the Rosenblattian transaction in there, but it's like Fish makes it a three-way transaction: text, reader, context. Good!