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Topic: Authorial intention

  Denis Dutton on intentionalism in literary theory
Hirsch’s intentionalism stands apart from that of someone like Tolstoy because it is not so much a particular conception of art which motivates him to adopt it as it is a strongly held view of criticism.
Authorial intentions are not desirable as a “standard” or “criterion” for assessing a literary text because the text itself will always speak with greater authority than any suppositions or speculations about the author’s purposes.
But the assertion that authorial intention is not a stable, identifiable mental state that can be appealed to in interpretation suggests another line of argument different from this epistemic consideration of the uncertainties about intentions.
www.denisdutton.com /intentionalism.htm   (6520 words)

 JOSE ANGEL GARCIA LANDA: Authorial intention in literary hermeneutics: On Two American Theories
Intentionality is a relationship between a cognitive representation and a state of affairs, in which the cognitive representation can be said to be "about" the state of affairs.
Authorial intention is a central concept in the classical theory of hermeneutics developed in the Romantic age.
Intention is not merely something which precedes the work or exists apart from it; neither is intentionalism a blind submission to any meaning an author may claim for his work.
www.unizar.es /departamentos/filologia_inglesa/garciala/publicaciones/intention.html   (12775 words)

 A Publishing History of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
This paper is a brief examination of the text's transmission, with emphasis on the concept of authorial intention and the role of the text's transcribers and its editor, Lydia Maria Child.
Authorial control is of major interest to critics who wish to understand "what really happened," and becomes emphasized in slave narratives because of the unusual relationship between the narrator and white editors/transcribers.
Authorial intention is frequently defined as the author's "original" or "final" intention for the text, or, in other words, how the author wanted the text to be read.
www.drizzle.com /~tmercer/Jacobs/history.shtml   (4687 words)

 20th WCP: On Reading Valedictory Texts: Suicide Notes, Last Wills and Testaments
Such texts are particularly sensitive to the problem of limited information, the potential for miscommunication, the inscrutability of authorial intention, and the real consequences to others of the author's irrevocable absence.
When one reads a literary text in order to discover the authorial intention, one has tacitly adopted the view that literary texts are, like valedictory texts, an expression of the authors dying wishes.
Without disavowing authorial intention, readers discover multiple readings at their great spiritual peril.
www.bu.edu /wcp/Papers/Cont/ContBene.htm   (5798 words)

 C:\Program Files\SoftQuad\HoTMetaL PRO 6\gifs\Eic00000.htm
Since few issues seem to compel textual critics these days more than the concept of authorial intention, it is not surprising that it provides the barely submerged theme of this fine collection of essays by practising scholars.
In one way or another, authorial intention takes quite a beating here, either because its advocates yield so much ground to their opponents, or because it is supplanted.
In Walsh and McDermott's essay intention is contingent on a new piece of theoretical furniture, the `discourse colony'; had another approach been taken, this would have been unnecessary, and their rationale simplified.
users.ox.ac.uk /~scat1492/eic.htm   (1930 words)

 CSC Conferences & Symposia   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
Eco's deep commitment to some concept of intention is brought to the fore as soon as he speaks generally and theoretically about the limits of textual interpretation, and it is this commitment that allows him to define what those limits are independent of specific readings.
The differences, then, between intention of the author and intention of the text for the conception of what constitutes a text and how it should be interpreted are not very significant.
[16] The invocation of intention both signals the historian's "objectivity," a willingness to discipline her desires in light of the evidence, and in some sense confers legitimacy, the mark of historicity and veridicality, on the interpretations that she produces.
cohesion.rice.edu /humanities/csc/conferences.cfm?doc_id=367   (5776 words)

 Steve Moyise, Authorial Intention abd the Book of Revelation, AUSS 39 (2001): 35-40   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
And his insight that Beale and I are using the term “authorial intention” differently is helpful.
In this response, I would like to be more pragmatic and ask whether “authorial intention” is really as helpful in interpreting the book of Revelation as is so often claimed.
If authorial intention is so vital for interpretation, then I would suggest that we are in a perilous state,  particularly for the book of Revelation.
www.ucc.ac.uk /theology/html/MoyiseAUSSAuthorial.htm   (2517 words)

 Global Journal of Classical Theology Poggemiller's Paper
With this definitive understanding of the authorial intention theory of meaning as presented by Hirsch, it would seem that such a view of meaning would be basic to the task of communication.
[29] However, as already shown, the intention of the author is revealed in the text itself and not in outside information concerning the author, his mental states, plans, etc. The text is what is to be interpreted and it is also the text that the reader finds the author's intentions clearly delineated.
The view that Hirsch's authorial intention theory of meaning is rooted in the epistemic theory of foundationalism is never explicitly stated in his work.
www.trinitysem.edu /journal/poggemillerpap.html   (6886 words)

 Rupturing Margins Through Authorship: An exegesis of Derrida's essays in Margins of Philosophy
Thus, Derrida has shown that meaning exceeds authorial intention in the context of writing and, in turn, has shown that there is a space where meaning cannot be usurped and appropriated.
That is, it is exactly the loss of authorial intention that causes words to break with their original context and be transported into new contexts and new meanings.
That is to say that in writing his book, Derrida causes me to necessarily take (his) authorial intention out of its original context insofar as he compels me as a reader to thereafter discuss, cite and reiterate his work (for example, in the act of my writing this essay).
www.chass.utoronto.ca /pcu/noesis/issue_vi/noesis_vi_6.html   (2178 words)

 SHAKSPER 2002: Re: Authorial Intention
Some sort of authorial presence is conjecturally introduced by such rudimentary observations, mediating between the patterned particularities of the texts on the one hand and the historical arena or a world of pure formal possibility on the other” (130).
Authorial intention is a problem, one we have to deal with.
Recovery of the authorial intention is one thing; acknowledgment of the author’s involvement is another.
www.shaksper.net /archives/2002/2024.html   (1057 words)

 Summit Ministries: Resources: Essays
But if authorial intention is a fallacy, if meaning is the reader's prerogative, then graded instruction of any kind is an injustice because it credits the student with the instructor's insight and holds the student responsible for the instructor's mistaken meanings.
If authorial intention is not the measure of meaning, then teachers can no longer count students wrong when the teachers themselves are responsible for what the student's test answers or research papers actually mean.
The professor cannot escape this difficulty by saying that authorial intention applies to syllabi but not to epic poems or to elegies because syllabi are prose and epics and elegies are not.
www.summit.org /resource/essay/show_essay.php?essay_id=48   (2942 words)

In other words, moving from authorial intention to textual meaning is in fact irrelevant to the nature of their identity because it presupposes either an intentionless language or the priority of language to intention.
It seems that this distinction between intention and the accomplishment of it is related to the gap between language (universal) and the particularity of the author’s intention as indicated above.
Since language is too flexible to refer to the determinate intention of the historical author, and the accomplishment of the historical author is reflected in the language of the text, the ac-complishment is too ambiguous to refer to the determinate historical intention or wish of the author.
www.crvp.org /book/Series02/IIA-5/chapter_ii.htm   (9810 words)

 WALTER BENN MICHAELS   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
The central thrust of his position was not completely to deny the relevance of authorial intention but rather to limit what would be allowed to count as evidence of that intention to the work itself.
As such, the polemic against intention was part of the more broadly formalist polemic against discussion of the aesthetic object in what were perceived as fundamentally non-aesthetic terms (historical, biographical, psychological, etc.).
The major thrust of "The Intentional Fallacy" was, as we have seen, to establish the priority of the text, insisting simultaneously on the intrinsic and objective character of meaning.
www.tau.ac.il /humanities/publications/poetics/art/aga3.html   (3912 words)

 knapp   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
Theory attempts to solve--or to celebrate the impossibilitv of solving--a set of familiar problems: the function of authorial intention, the status of literary language, the role of interpretive assumptlons, and so on.
This assumption is shared by theorists who, denying the possibility of recovering authorial intentions, also deny the possibility of valid interpretations.
The issues of belief and intention are, we think, central to the theoretical enterprise; our discussion of them is thus directed not only against specific theoretical arguments but against theory in general.
www.uchicago.edu /research/jnl-crit-inq/issues/v8/v8n4.knapp.html   (693 words)

 Textual Criticism and Non-Fictional Prose: The Case of Matthew Arnold   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
In 1983 Jerome McGann declared that 'textual criticism is in the process of reconceiving its discipline' and cited revisionist views of copy-text, authorial intention, and textual authority to support his claims.
Authorial intention and textual authority become in this view secondary to matters of dissemination and readership.
Attention should also be paid to context, to the intentionally conservative nature of the first essay, 'Culture and Its Enemies,' since Arnold decidedly sought to atone for what he called the '''heresies and novelties'' he inflicted on his Oxford audiences in the preceding months of his professorship (Arnold in Super, 5:409).
www.utpjournals.com /product/utq/582/582_nadel.html   (4120 words)

He clearly argues that the interpreter should aim at understanding the author’s intention in the case of the failure of appreciating the truth of the written text.
Hence, while treating textual meaning and authorial intention as different entities to be identified, Hirsch stops in the discussion of the identity of the latter by taking that of the former for granted.
The inse-parability of intention from the language leads to the conclusion that there is no interpretation and only text, since interpretation attempts to make a confused claim clearer.
www.crvp.org /book/Series02/IIA-5/conclusion.htm   (2499 words)

 The Valve - A Literary Organ | Near Theory (My creation, is it real?)
Intention is not something added to language; it is what must already be assumed if what are otherwise mere physical phenomena (rocks or scratch marks) are to be experienced as language.
Authorial intention may be a simple rule to the meaning game, but it’s still seems to me to be the only game in town.
Queneau had a general intention that all of the possible sonnets would have some meaning, and worked very hard on the style of the lines to achieve this, but he had no intention as to the meaning of any specific sonnet.
www.thevalve.org /go/valve/article/near_theory_my_creation_is_it_real   (14122 words)

 Interpreting Prophecy: The Canonical Principle - TheologyWeb Campus - Curriculum   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
Dispensationalists are certain that covenantalists cannot practice historical-grammatical exegesis in their reading of OT prophecy, that they are engaging instead in something akin to the allegorical method (though typological exegesis may be a more accurate description).
Authorial intention is thus something of an ideal (and perhaps a very elusive ideal).
The thoroughgoing historico-critical exegete believes the evangelical practitioner of historical-grammatical exegesis is quite inconsistent; authorial intent is restricted to the human author and thus intends only to address those who are his intended, primary audience/readers and their context of understanding.
www.theologyweb.com /article/CanPrinciple   (4278 words)

 Textual Theory Projects Page: Intention: Mailloux
He begins by noting that despite the work of New Critics, in which authorial intention was declared an interpretive fallacy (fallacy of intention), the concept of an author's final intention was central to American textual studies, not to mention the standard accepted by the Center for Editions of American Authors, for the previous 30 years.
Mailloux goes on to define "operative intention" as characterizing "the actions that the author, as he writes the text, understands himself to be performing in the text and the immediate effects he understands these actions will achieve in his projected reader" (99).
Even an author's stated intentions can be wrested out of his or her control by a discerning editor on the basis of … authorial intention relative to speech–act theory.
depts.washington.edu /texts/txttheoproj/mailloux.shtml   (1331 words)

 [New-Poetry] MB / BG   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
Texts are not verbal expressions except in the most broadly metaphorical way, a way useless in the discussion of good tight definitions on which to rely for the weight of an entire taxonomy.
If that is indeed the test, as you say it is, then your claim that you're evaluating "verbal expressions" without regard to authorial intention, while acknowledging that authorial intention will "contribute to" those concerns is not mere nonsense, it's nonsense in a clown suit.
If, on the other hand, this is merely jawboning, a sort of posturing in a scientific manner but without any intent to do science, then you are not on the path to a taxonomy in the first place.
ebbs.english.vt.edu /pipermail/new-poetry/2003-October/014492.html   (771 words)

 intentionality --  Encyclopædia Britannica
With the ascendancy of New Criticism after World War I, much of the debate on intentionality addressed whether information external to the text could help determine the writer's purpose and whether it was even possible or desirable to...
Thus, thinking, believing, desiring, and other such attitudes are thought to resemble one another in that they may be said to take an object, or to be directed upon an object, in a way quite unlike anything to be found...
The idea of intentionality can be explicated in the following way: if one imagines three objects arranged as in and then supposes that the wind blows them so that they are arranged as in, there results, from the physical point of view, simply a new arrangement.
www.britannica.com /eb/article-9125205?tocId=9125205   (394 words)

 Divine Meaning and Authorial Intention   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
It is my opinion an appreciation of the authorial intention both in the meaning and its significance is sufficient to deal with the challenges of how the New uses the Old.
Kaiser argues persuasively (according to Moo) that the authorial meaning “which in its context is intended to inculcate in masters and owners a concern for their labourers (whether animal or human).
However, though in my opinion Kaiser’s thesis concerning authorial intent are correct, I believe he was mistaken in seeking to identify the meaning of the implications (significance of the meaning), let me explain.
www.pressiechurch.org /Theol_2/divine_meaning_and_authorial_int.htm   (3004 words)

 Amazon.com: Books: The Shape of the Signifier : 1967 to the End of History   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
While I agree with Michaels's convincing descriptions about the "consequences" of theory's dismissal of authorial intention, it is difficult to follow his agenda that we should fall back on authorial intention, as if the problematization of the categories of "author," "intention," "meaning" has never occurred in the last three or four decades.
Worse still, as long as Michaels goes beyond authorial intention in his critical reading, his reading is no longer a reading, in his strict sense of this word, but only an experience based on his own subject position, the very thing Michaels spent a whole book trying to discredit.
Michaels's dilemma suggests that while the dismissal of authorial intention historically led to the rise of identitarian politics, this need not mean that authorial intention is the only thing that can bring back disagreement that transcends the difference in identity.
www.amazon.com /exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0691118728?v=glance   (1701 words)

 WWP Transcription and Editorial Principles
We remain agnostic about authorial intention; we do not consult authorial intention insofar as we do not emend the text or indicate variant readings.
Our choice of copytext indirectly relies on authorial intention, to some degree, in that we would usually choose to encode an edition in which the author had had direct input before one in which the author's text was substantially altered.
In cases where a later edition is of equal or greater scholarly importance (because of authorial revision, censorship, etc.), we also aim to encode the later edition, although we may not be able to do so immediately.
www.wwp.brown.edu /texts/help/ed_principles.html   (2346 words)

 Literary Criticism and Authorial Intent   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
There is a difference between denying (that is > contradicting) authorial intent, and a methodology which is not dependant > upon authorial intent.
Even among "classical" critics (if we may use that word) there was quite a common position that held that the text in itself is the thing, and that the intention of the author does *not* determine the meaning of the text.
Indeed, if anybody wants to take a doctrine of inspiration seriously then authorial intention must be viewed suspiciously--remember, for example, what Caiaphas said unknowing in John 11:49-50.
www.ibiblio.org /bgreek/archives/greek-1/msg00131.html   (253 words)

 Textual Theory Projects Page: Intention: McLaverty
The danger in editing on the basis of something other than active intentions, say programmatic intent or final intentions, is that editor would be attempting to fulfill intentions that were beyond the control of the author.
By interpreting Husserl's understanding of intentionality as "mental awareness" (123), he arrives at the formulation that the editor is bound to the reading the author "was aware of; if we had been able to stop him and ask him what he had written." (127).
And intentions express the nature of those actions while motives express only the spirit of the man that may or may not be realized in a particular work.
depts.washington.edu /texts/txttheoproj/mclaverty.shtml   (1891 words)

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