First thought. The broad takeaway insight of postmodernism is the following: there is always more in a text than the author knows or intends. This goes rather nicely with Nietzsche’s claim that “there are no facts, only interpretations.” But before killing off the author and truth and casting their bodies in the river, chew on this question raised by two neopragmatist philosophers in 1982 (Knapp and Michaels): if the following stanza from a Wordsworth poem magically appeared scrawled in beach sand in the wake of a receding wave, how would you interpret it?
No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.
In other words, were you to witness these words before you, apparently written via the action of water, how might you explain to yourself such a Twilight Zone moment? Absent…
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