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The Task of the Interpreter: Text, Meaning, and Negotiation
by Pol Vandevelde
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005
eISBN: 978-0-8229-7282-2 | Cloth: 978-0-8229-4263-4 | Paper: 978-0-8229-5884-0
Library of Congress Classification PN81.V28 2005
Dewey Decimal Classification 801.95

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
The Task of the Interpreter offers a new approach to what it means to interpret a text, and reconciles the possibility of multiple interpretations with the need to consider the author’s intention.  Vandevelde argues that interpretation is both an act and an event:  It is an act in that interpreters, through the statements they make, implicitly commit themselves to justifying their positions, if prompted.  It is an event in that interpreters are situated in a cultural and historical framework and come to a text with questions, concerns, and methods of which they are not fully conscious.  These two aspects make interpretation a negotiation of meaning. The Task of the Interpreter provides an interdisciplinary investigation of textual interpretation including biblical hermeneutics (Gregory the Great’s Homilies on Ezekiel), translation (Homer’s The Odyssey), and literary fictions (Grass’s Dog Years and Sabato’s On Heroes and Tombs).  Vandevelde’s philosophical discussion will appeal to theorists of both continental and analytical/pragmatic traditions.

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