1. Introduction The Marketplace of Interpretation Interpretation as Translatability 2. The Authority of the Canon Canonization and Midrash The Literary Canon: Dr. Johnson on Shakespeare 3. The Hermeneutic Circle Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher: Self-reflective Circularity Johann Gustav Droysen: The Nesting of Circles Paul Ricoeur: Transactional Loops 4. The Recursive Loop Recursion in Ethnographic Discourse Systemic Recursion 5. The Traveling Differential: Franz Rosenzweig, "The Star of Redemption" "The Birth of the Elements Out of the Somber Foundations of Nought" Proliferating Translatability 6. Configurations of Interpretation: An Epilogue
There is a tacit assumption that interpretation comes naturally, that human beings live by constantly interpreting. In this sense, we might even rephrase Descartes by saying: We interpret, therefore we are. While such a basic human disposition makes interpretation appear to come naturally, the forms it takes, however, do not. In this work, Iser offers a fresh approach by formulating an "anatomy of interpretation" through which we can understand the act of interpretation in its many different manifestations.
Wolfgang Iser is professor of comparative literature at the University of Konstanz, Germany, and professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. He is author of The Implied Reader and The Act of Reading.
"A truly original contribution to the field, for a cultural-historical and anthropological exploration of the Western practices of interpretation has long been overdue." - Mihai I. Spariosu, University of Georgia "A challenging contribution to the anthropological turn in literary studies." - Gabriele Schwab, University of California, Irvine