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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: October ::
Re: Authorial Intention
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2044  Wednesday, 9 October 2002

[1]     From:   R. Schmeeckle <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Oct 2002 10:44:03 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2028 Re: Authorial Intention

[2]     From:   Tony Burton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Oct 2002 16:52:43 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2028 Re: Authorial Intention


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. Schmeeckle <
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Date:           Tuesday, 8 Oct 2002 10:44:03 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.2028 Re: Authorial Intention
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2028 Re: Authorial Intention

Claude Caspar <
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 > writes,

>notions of personal identity: "I am I because my little dog knows me."

The dog smells, but, as Johnson would say, the example stinks.

     Roger

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tony Burton <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Oct 2002 16:52:43 -0400
Subject: 13.2028 Re: Authorial Intention
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2028 Re: Authorial Intention

For the benefit of those of us not initiated into the language of the
ongoing discussion over "un/recoverable" authorial intentions, let me
ask (a) what is meant by "non-contingent authorial intentions"?  I can't
conceive of any "intention" (beyond the mere desire to blurt out words)
that isn't contingent on, at least, the author's image of his or her
audience -- and particularly their linguistic, cultural,
physical-sensory, intellectual, etc. capacities and impediments.   And I
point out that multiple, simultaneous meaning was a staple of
Shakespearean clown humor, along with much else.  If, as so often, the
clown happily mistakes one's meaning, or gives an answer "not of the
right breed" unless one spoke "by the card," we find it entertaining
exactly because the possibility of misunderstanding of a speaker's
meaning (to comic effect only in the right hands) is so common that
we've all dealt with it.  D'ya know what I mean?

And also (b) as to "transcendental understanding," whether there is any
"understanding" that is not also necessarily "transcendental" with
respect to the object of inquiry (since it occurs outside that object,
in the mind of the observer), unless we are talking about pure
self-generated and self-sustaining fantasy.

How are we to grasp these categories, and how do they advance literary
inquiry?  I dismiss in advance as trivial the possibility that this is
the literary equivalent of the uncertainty principle, that one cannot
know FOR SURE, ALL about the object of one's attention because the
observer is always to some extent a participant in the event (discourse,
etc.) under inquiry.  Essential to be aware of no doubt and a good
corrective against a certain kind of ill-considered judgment; but, when
all is said and done, we all still have to inquire, and most of us also
have to communicate the results of our inquiries.

Tony B

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