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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: January ::
Re: Symbolic Interpretation
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0228  Monday, 28 January 2002

From:           Louis Swilley <
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Date:           Sunday, 27 Jan 2002 11:35:32 -0600
Subject: Re: Symbolic Interpretation (was Pregnant
Comment:        SHK 13.0113 Re: Symbolic Interpretation (was Pregnant

Martin is certainly correct: formally viewed, it has to be acknowledged
that the black-and-white shots of "If..." are simply *there* and subject
to any formal interpretation that reasonably explains their presence in
the larger formal context.  This would disallow any historical matter,
such as the lack of funds or even the intentions of the director (and
especially so since the artist is seldom able to remember precisely why
he made a particular choice ).  A director's notes may be accepted as a
guide to formulate a reading of a work, but once the work is on the page
- or on the boards - it is fair game for any reader or audience member
to interpret as he will, the director, actor, lighting person, sound
engineer, etc.  be damned; the reader's/audience member's/critic's  only
caveat should be that he fairly puts the argument together under a
reasonable, unifying principle (i.e., consistent reading) that justly
accounts for all its parts. It is a matter of faith that any consistent
reading of a work is at least parallel to the intentions of the artist -
but *that* is never really to be known, even by the artist himself.

L. Swilley
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