MODELS OF INTERPRETATION
Many of the most controversial theoretical debates of recent years in the humanities have been concerned with the relationships between text, author, and reader. What underlies the differences between those who announced the “death of the author,” on the basis of the claim that the language an author employs does not gain its meaning from the author's mental acts, and those who continued to write literary interpretation based on research into the life of the author as a means of establishing authorial intentions, is the wider question of the relationships between language, the people who employ it, and the world in which it is employed. Given the lack of any widespread consensus about how these relationships are to be conceived, it is not surprising that a great deal of controversy was generated. The controversy was deepened by the fact that decisions about the relationships also take one into fundamental philosophical questions concerning freedom and self-determination, and language and truth, in modernity.
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