A Sticky Note to Interpretation
This sticky illustrates a simple but deep principle to literature interpretation: The author produces the text and the text is read by the reader. Around them are layers of context. The author and the text share the same context in the sense that the author’s context bleeds into the text inevitably. The reader has, surrounding him, layers of context – some, perhaps, similar and certainly many different than those which surround the author and infuse the text. This inevitably creates a divide and separates us from the texts true meaning. This leaves us with a question: How do we take down that barrier? Do your best to shed your own context: observe everything; ask questions as much, as simple, and even as silly as a child would who – having no consequential context – seeks one out; and find out everything you can about that context by seeking the answers to the questions you have asked. In questioning the text we flesh out the context of the author and thereby enter into their world. When we arrive, we drop our baggage at the bus stop, remove our shoes, and we understand the earth of another planet.