Interpretation

(2516 words)
  • Ken Newton (University of Dundee)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Although interpretation, or to give it its more technical name, hermeneutics, can be traced back to the classical and Judaic origins of Western civilisation, it is generally agreed that it was during the Romantic period that modern interest in interpretation developed, with the German theologian and philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) being regarded as the founder of modern hermeneutics or the science of interpretation. The problem at the centre of hermeneutics is that though texts written in the past may survive and may still be understandable at a linguistic level, their authors and the historical and cultural context that produced them no longer exist. It is not enough merely to “read” these texts: they require …

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Citation:
Newton, Ken. "Interpretation". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 April 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=560, accessed 20 September 2014.]