Isaiah's servant

Christian M. M. Brady cbrady at tulane.edu
Sat Jan 27 14:16:33 EST 2001


On 1/27/01 12:46 PM, "Christine Bass" <christinebass at home.com> wrote:

> Seriously, however, it is apparent to me that a person's
> perspective gives a certain "spin"  to the interpretation of a text,
> no matter how neutral the individual attempts to be. Everyone, including me,
> comes to the text with a  personal perspective.

No doubt, but IMO the job of good, modern scholarship and exegesis is to try
1) admit our prejudices up front and 2) try and keep their influence to a
minimum (unless one is avowedly interpreting the text within a particular
faith/tradition).

> I have seen this portrayed in interpreting some of Herman Melville's
> writing,
> specifically a poem named "Clarel, A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land,"
> in which there are literally hundreds of biblical allusions
> and references. The difference between how I interpreted these references
> and their significance and how a Melville scholar coming from the
> perspective of an agnostic
> interpreted them was large, along the lines of ...are we reading the same
> poem?
> We were, but you would not have known it from our disparate conclusions.
> 
> (I like to think of  this as the "fluid text" principle----what the text
> means is fluid depending on who doing the reading.)
> 
> The same type of thing appears to occur in interpreting this text.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Christine
 

Cb
cbrady @ tulane.edu
-- 
"Why can't you make another word using all the letters in 'anagram'?"
- George Carlin




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