Locating Literary Language
This essay explores the constraints on the interpretation of a literary text. The possibility of language, thought, and interpretation depends on the triangular situation which relates speaker and listener, and both to a shared object in the public world which they can observe together, and to which they can observe each other’s responses. Such a triangular situation exists in literature. Interpretations of a text will vary from person to person, culture to culture, and century to century. However, it does not follow that a text means whatever its readers take it to mean, since disagreements about the meaning of a text are only possible against a shared basis of agreement.
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