Interpretation Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 191 quotes )
Today is such a time, when the project of interpretation is largely reactionary, stifling. Like the fumes of the automobile and of heavy industry which befoul the urban atmosphere, the effusion of interpretations of art today poisons our sensibilities. In a culture whose already classical dilemma is the hypertrophy of the intellect at the expense of energy and sensual capability, interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art.
There have been so many interpretations of the story that I'm not going to choose between them. Make your own choice. They contradict each other, the various choices. The only choice that really matters, the only interpretation of the story, if you want one, is your own. Not your teacher's, not your professor's, not mine, not a critic's, not some authority's. The only thing that matters is, first, the experience of being in the story, moving through it. Then any interpretation you like. If it's yours, then that's the right one, because what's in a book is not what an author thought he put into it, it's what the reader gets out of it.
All knowledge that is about human society, and not about the natural world, is historical knowledge, and therefore rests upon judgment and interpretation. This is not to say that facts or data are nonexistent, but that facts get their importance from what is made of them in interpretatio? for interpretations depend very much on who the interpreter is, who he or she is addressing, what his or her purpose is, at what historical moment the interpretation takes place.
Gradually it became clear that it is a fundamental error to try to give the sexual act a psychological interpretation, to attribute to it a psychic meaning as if it were a neurotic symptom. But this is what the psychoanalysts did. On the contrary: any idea occurring in the course of the sexual act only has the effect of hindering one's absorption in the excitation. Furthermore, such psychological interpretations of genitality constitute a denial of genitality as a biological function. By composing it of non-genital excitations, one denies the existence of genitality. The function of the orgasm, however, had revealed the qualitative difference between genitality and pregenitality. Only the genital apparatus can provide orgasm and can discharge sexual energy completely. Pregenitality, on the other hand, can only increase vegetative tensions. One readily sees the deep rift which formed here in psychoanalytic concepts.
This philistinism of interpretation is more rife in literature than in any other art. For decades now, literary critics have understood it to be their task to translate the elements of the poem or play or novel or story into something else. Sometimes a writer will be so uneasy before the naked power of his art that he will install within the work itself - albeit with a little shyness, a touch of the good taste of irony - the clear and explicit interpretation of it. Thomas Mann is an example of such an overcooperative author. In the case of more stubborn authors, the critic is only too happy to perform the job.
Because you have seen something doesn't mean you can explain it. Differing interpretations will always abound, even when good minds come to bear. The kernel of indisputable information is a dot in space; interpretations grow out of the desire to make this point a line, to give it direction. The directions in which it can be sent, the uses to which it can be put by a culturally, professionally, and geographically diverse society are almost without limit. The possibilities make good scientists chary.
The meaning of a story should go on expanding for the reader the more he thinks about it, but meaning cannot be captured in an interpretation. If teachers are in the habit of approaching a story as if it were a research problem for which any answer is believable so long as it is not obvious, then I think students will never learn to enjoy fiction. Too much interpretation is certainly worse than too little, and where feeling for a story is absent, theory will not supply it.
Giving importance to what we think because we thought it, taking our own selves not only (to quote the Greek philosopher) as the measure of all things but as their norm or standard, we create in ourselves, if not an interpretation, at least a criticism of the universe, which we don't even know and therefore cannot criticize. The giddiest, most weak-minded of us then promote that criticism to an interpretation that's superimposed, like a hallucination; induced rather than deduced. It's a hallucination in the strict sense, being an illusion based on something only dimly seen.
To an even moderately sophisticated and well-read person it should come as no surprise that any religion at all has its hidden as well as its obvious beauties and is capable of profound and impressive interpretations. What is deeply objectionable about most of these interpretations is that they allow the believer to say Yes while evading any No.
To avoid the hard necessity of either obeying or rejecting the plain instructions of our Lord in the New Testament we take refuge in a liberal interpretation of them. We evangelicals also know how to avoid the sharp point of obedience by means of fine and intricate explanations. These are tailor-made for the flesh. They excuse disobedience, comfort carnality and make the words of Christ of none effect. And the essence of it all is that Christ simply could not have meant what He said. His teachings are accepted even theoretically only after they have been weakened by interpretation.
But gay marriage is coming to America first and foremost because marriage here is a secular concern, not a religious one. The objection to gay marriage is almost invariably biblical, but nobody's legal vows in this country are defined by interpretation of biblical verse - or at least, not since the Supreme Court stood up for Richard and Mildred Loving. A church wedding ceremony is a nice thing, but it is neither required for legal marriage in America nor does it constitute legal marriage in America. What constitutes legal marriage in this country is that critical piece of paper that you and your betrothed must sign and then register with the state. The morality of your marriage may indeed rest between you and God, but it's that civic and secular paperwork which makes your vows official here on earth. Ultimately, then, it is the business of America's courts, not America's churches, to decide the rules of matrimonial law, and it is in those courts that the same-sex marriage debate will finally be settled.
The things we see," Pistorius said softly, "are the same things that are within us. There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself. You can be happy that way. But once you know the other interpretation you no longer have the choice of following the crowd. Sinclair, the majority's path is an easy one, ours is difficult.
She sleeps. And now she wakes each day a little less. And, each day, takes less and less nourishment, as if grudging the least moment of wakefulness, for, from the movement under her eyelids, and the somnolent gestures of her hands and feet, it seems as if her dreams grow more urgent and intense, as if the life she lives in the closed world of dreams is now about to possess her utterly, as if her small, increasingly reluctant wakenings were an interpretation of some more vital existence, so she is loath to spend even those necessary moments of wakefulness with us, wakings strange as her sleepings. Her marvellous fate - a sleep more lifelike than the living, a dream which consumes the world.
Alright. Let's get realistic now. You know and I know that the function of that number was just to provide some sort of warm-up trash before we do something HEAVY. Something a little bit harder to listen to, but which is probably better for you in the LONG RUN. The item in this instance, which will be better for you in the LONG RUN, and if we only had a little more space up here we could make it visual for you, is "Some Ballet Music," which we've played at most of our concert series in Europe. Generally in halls where we had a little bit more space and Motorhead and Kansas could actually fling themselves across the stage, and give you their teenage interpretation of the art of The Ballet. I don't think it's too safe to do it here, maybe they can just hug each other a little bit and do some calisthenics in the middle of the stage.