Hermeneutics of Literature 1, 2

  1. The course covers an introduction to literary hermeneutics as a system of theories and practices of interpreting literary texts (narrative, dramatic and poetic). It also examines a selection of hermeneutic theories: F. Schleiermacher, W. Dilthey, H. G. Gadamer, M. Heideger, Emilio Betti, Emil Steiger, E. D. Hirsch, Manfred Frank, Paul Ricoeur, Tz. Todorov, U. Eco, W. Iser, J. Culler, Shoshana Felman, and Peter Sloterdijk. The course further includes: the paradigm/epistemology of literary hermeneutics—the terminological distinctions – reading, understanding, explaining a text, interpretation, exegesis, hermeticism, enigmaticism, the art of interpretation, validity in interpretation, the abuse of the interpretive act, the ethics of interpretation, interpretive interests, interpreter/reader; the semantic nodes (aporetic places) in the context of the whole of the text and in extratextual frames (tradition, opus, culture, language, mythology, etc); interpretive conventions and intentions (Eco) – intention of the author, the reader, and the text, intertextual intention; interpretive distance, competence and community; excessive interpretation and determination of literary texts; contextualisation of interpreting (historical, cultural, intertextual); the hermeneutic circle (stylistic and semantic aspects).
  2. The course covers twentieth-century hermeneutic practices (interpretive models or strategies) –formalist, stylistic, structuralist, New Historicist, cultural, intertextual, intermedial (comparative); the art of interpretation and interpretive skills/techniques; interpreting literary identities (narrative, dramatic and poetic); the conflict of interpretations (P. Ricoeur) versus a dialogue of interpretations; the play hermeneutics according to Gadamer and other interpretive practices (wordplay, a play of genres and styles – playing with the semantic, aesthetic and ethical expectations of the reader); contextualisation of interpreting (cultural and civilisational, historical); specifics of the interpretive context – the historicity of interpretation; the hermeneutics and stylistics of the short story and the novel; a model of interpreting a poem; a model of interpreting a play.