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NOTES ON TEXT INTERPRETATION

Seminar 1

 

Dwell on the following theoretical issues:

1. Text interpretation as a branch of linguistics. The notion of text.

2. Pragmatic types of text.

3. Text categories. Cohesion.

4. Coherence.

5. Informativeness. Types of text information.

6. Modality.

7. Plot of a literary work. Elements of plot.

8. Conflict. Types of conflict.

9. Composition of a literary work. Plot vs composition.

 

Practical tasks:

I. 1. Read the text:

It was Miss Murdstone who was arrived, and a gloomy-looking lady she was; dark, like her brother, whom she greatly resembled in face and voice; and with very heavy eyebrows, nearly meeting over her large nose, as if, being disabled by the wrongs of her sex from wearing whiskers, she had carried them to that account. She brought with her two uncompromising hard black boxes, with her initials on the lid in hard brass nails. When she paid the coachman she took her money out of a hard steel purse, and she kept the purse in a very jail of a bag which hung upon her arm by a heavy chain, and shut up like a bite. I had never, at that time, seen such a metallic lady altogether as Miss Murdstone was.

(From Charles Dickens David Copperfield)

 

2. Analyze the text due to the types of information rendered in it.

3. Dwell on the way the category of cohesion is realized in the text.

4. Dwell on the way the category of coherence is realized in the text.

5. Say what other text categories are realized in the text. Dwell on the way they are realized in the text.

 

II. 1. Read the text:

I love to see you at my table, Nick. You remind me of a a rose, an absolute rose. Doesnt he? She turned to Miss Baker for confirmation: An absolute rose?

This was untrue. I am not even faintly like a rose. She was only extempozing, but a stirring warmth flowed from her, as if her heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words. Then suddenly she threw her napkin on the table and excused herself and I went into the house.

Miss Baker and I exchanged a short glance consciously devoid of meaning. I was about to speak when she sat up alertly and said Sh! in a warming voice. A subdued impassioned murmur was audible in the room beyond, and Miss Baker leaned forward unashamed, trying to hear.

(From F. Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby)

2. Find elements of plot in the extract.

 

 

Seminar 2

 

Dwell on the following theoretical issues:

1. The notion of image in literary text interpretation.

2. Imagery. Forms of imagery.

3. Protagonist.

4. Antagonist.

5. Hero.

6. Anti-hero.

7. Narrator, author, and writer.

8. Point of view. Third person limited point of view.

9. Third person omniscient point of view.

10. Third person objective point of view.

11. First person narrative.

12. Second person point of view.

 

Practical tasks:

Read the texts. Define the point of view. Characterize the way of its realization.



A. She was ready to step away if he came toward her; he knew this and did not move. The girl followed rules that had come to her out of nowhere she did not know where and told her always what to do, when to do it, when it was not right to do anything: in the daylight or when other people were around. She would have been sick to her stomach if he had forced her to break these rules, though she did not know where she had learned them. The man, who had often cringed before her and pressed his wet cheeks against her knees, murmuring things to her she did not hear and after a while did not pay attention to, now stared at her and cracked his knuckles. Im going to take good care of you, get some food in you. Youre hungry, thats all. You believe all I told you, dont you?

Sure I believe you.

I was married one time and I took care of her too, he said. Begun all over from a beginning but hit a snag. Three times already I began over and this is the fourth and the last. Going to begin over again up in Canada. Dont you believe me?

Sure.

 

B. Two days later, your mother and father are discussing survival, and filling jugs with water from the tap just in case. Your father is worried about the electricity holding out. You sit in the living room wondering why all the servants quit the day before, and if your assistant is ever going to call you back. The only connection to the outside world is the radio, and it's hard to get real information between the crying and praying on almost every channel. On the pop station, the dj says over and over that it's only a matter of time. Your father tells you to switch to the AM band because they have more sense on AM, goddammit.

 

C. Shortly after my education at college was finished, I happened to be staying at Paris with an English friend. We were both young men then, and lived, I am afraid, rather a wild life, in the delightful city of our sojourn. One night we were idling about the neighborhood of the Palais Royal, doubtful to what amusement we should next betake ourselves. My friend proposed a visit to Frascati's; but his suggestion was not to my taste. I knew Frascati's, as the French saying is, by heart; had lost and won plenty of five-franc pieces there, merely for amusement's sake, until it was amusement no longer, and was thoroughly tired, in fact, of all the ghastly respectabilities of such a social anomaly as a respectable gambling-house. "For Heaven's sake," said I to my friend, "let us go somewhere where we can see a little genuine, blackguard, poverty-stricken gaming with no false gingerbread glitter thrown over it all. Let us get away from fashionable Frascati's, to a house where they don't mind letting in a man with a ragged coat, or a man with no coat, ragged or otherwise."

 

Seminar 3

 

Dwell on the following theoretical issues:

1. Theme of a literary text

2. Message of a fiction text.

3. Symbol.

4. Setting. Chronotope.

5. Atmosphere of a text.

6. Text toning.

 

Practical tasks:

Read the texts. Try to define their themes and messages. Characterize atmosphere and tone of the given text fragments:

 

Sometimes he wondered if hed ever really known his father. Then out of the past would come that picture of a lithe, active young feller who was always for an argument, always ready to bring company home, especially the kind of company that gives food for though in return for a cup of tea and something to go with it.

(St. Barstow)

Holmes was certainly not a difficult man to live with. He was quiet in his ways and his habits were regular. It was rare for him to be up after ten at night and he had invariably breakfasted and gone out before I rose in the morning. His very person and appearance were such as to strike the attention of the most casual observer.

(A. Conan Doyle)

At twenty-two, Matilda Cressey had been all the things young women are supposed to be: vulnerable, naïve, trusting, thin, pretty, dependent, decorative, wilful, inconsistent, self-centred, filial, passionate, unassertive, curious, angry, daring, eager, afraid, drawn to babies and chocolate, and enormously keen to find a permanent solution to everything. After university (Manchester, English), she fell in love with a forty-year-old writer of travel-books who regularly left his wife for other women with whom he travelled emotionally, sexually, and geographically but not, unfortunately for Matilda, permanently.

(A.Oakley)

 

Seminar 4

 

Practical tasks:

Read the texts:

Before/After

In an instant, a life can divide into Before and After. A phone call, a news flash can do it. Invariably, something remains as a reminder. For Joseph, a colleague at Chloe's office, it is Bach playing on the stereo before the screech of brakes, the crunch of metal, an ambulance, the hospital.

"I hear Bach now and think: oh, yes, I used to love that. Before. In my other life."

For Chloe's sister, Anna, it is a body shampoo. She told Chloe how the shower was hot and steam clouded the glass. She stood in the warm fog, then sniffed the fresh, pine scent of the new Badedas body shampoo. That clean scent of mountains and good health. Just seconds later, her fingers, tentative, pressed back and forth, smoothing the skin as her brain bristled indignantly. It can't be! But it is, yes, it is. I think it is. A lump.

And after doctors visits, surgery, chemo, hair loss, pain.

Chloe will be reminded of these conversations in four minutes. Right now she chooses a pretty china cup, Staffordshire, patterned with red roses. She pokes the tea bag with a spoon while she pours in the boiling water and then decides to start the laundry while the tea steeps. Dan's shirts are already loaded in the washer but she pulls them out anyway, to shake them. She is nervous that a stray ballpoint might lie forgotten in a pocket, leave a Caspian Sea of navy ink never to be bleached away. As she shakes the shirt, something flies out, floats up like confetti to land on the lid of the dryer. She studies, frowning, a pair of ticket stubs for a New York City theatre.

She is puzzled at first. Then remembers, of course, the business conference in New York City. Seven days had stretched to ten; Dan had been exhausted when he came home, complaining about the demands of clients, the tedious conversation of his colleagues. Chloe studies these tickets with a sense of unreality, as if she is watching herself on a movie set, frowning for the camera. But her mind is seething with questions. Dan had not told her of this theatre visit. Off-Broadway does not seem appropriate, somehow. Hedda Gabler is an odd choice for an evening with a client. Or a colleague.

With cold clarity, Chloe sees that these stubs will lead to questions that she does not want to ask, but must ask. That will lead to answers she does not want to hear. Later, a Decree Absolute, loneliness.

Chloe knows as she stirs her tea, stirs what is now gungy, tarry soup, that she is already in the after. She throws the tea away, gets a fresh teabag, starts over. The tea, though freshly brewed, still tastes thick and stale.

She understands now, that she has moved in space, slid towards some other life. She has crossed that invisible but solid line. Lipton's Orange Pekoe has joined Bach's St. Matthew's Passion and Badedas with Original Scent, to be forever in the before. And there is no going back. (Mary McCluskey)

 

***

Crispin Delancey raised his head from his sunbed and turned it slightly to look at the woman who was about to lower herself into the aquamarine pool. The effort was painful. He was lying on his stomach, which was not quite what it had once been, and muscled buried beneath the layers of untanned flesh twangled uncomfortable when he tried to call them into service.

She was thirty-ish, he supposed. Her compact body wore a yellow bikini like a second skin. She had light, crinkly hair which sparkled in the sharp mid-morning sunlight, creating altogether the appearance of a svelte, illuminated lemon. Crispin watched her as she swan proficiently across the circular pool. He didnt see her at the airport yesterday, but then thered been several busloads of them destined for different hotels.

Youll burn yourself if you dont do something about it! A large tapestry bag arrived by Crispins right ear accompanied by his fun-loving, fattish, forty-something wife, Dodo. Remember last year? You looked like a betroot. And its worse now, because of the ozone layer.

Crispin turned over, sat up, and squinted at the sun on its busy skin-damaging journey across the sky. Okay, wheres the stuff, then?

You always rely on me, dont you? grumbled Dodo happily. (Ann Oakley, A Proper Holiday)

 

Interpret the texts according to the plan:

1. Dwell on the author of the texts.

2. Speak on the way text categories are realized in the stories:

a) cohesion;

b) coherence;

c) informativeness;

d) modality.

3. Define the elements of plot in the stories.

4. Speak on the imagery and the characters.

5. Characterize point of view.

6. Speak on theme and message, setting and chronotope of the texts.

7. Dwell on the tone and atmosphere.

 

 

1. Text interpretation as a branch of linguistics.

2. Text (definitions, spheres of term application).

3. Text interpretation and other branches of philology.

4. Pragmatic types of text.

5. Text categories. Cohesion.

6. Coherence as a text category.

7. Informativeness as a text category.

8. Types of text information.

9. Modality as a text category.

10. The notion of plot.

11. The main elements of plot.

12. Conflict, types of conflict.

13. Composition of a literary text. Plot VS composition.

14. The notion of image in literary text interpretation. Forms of images due to sensory experience.

15. Imagery. Types of images in a fiction text (give examples of different types of images).

16. Character images and types of characterization.

17. Protagonist.

18. Antagonist.

19. Hero.

20. Anti-hero.

21. Narration, types of narration.

22. Narrator, author, writer.

23. Point of view.

24. Third person limited point of view.

25. Third person omniscient point of view.

26. Third person objective point of view.

27. First person point of view.

28. Second person point of view.

29. Theme, message of a literary text.

30. Setting. Chronotope.

31. Implication, ways of presentation.

32. Symbol in a fiction text.

33. Types of symbols, ways of their presentation.

34. Atmosphere of a literary text.

35. Tone of a literary text.

NOTES ON TEXT INTERPRETATION

 

 

(a manual for graduate students)

 

 

Kamianets-Podilskyi

 

 

CONTENTS

 

 

Text Interpretation as a Branch of Linguistic Studies ...
Types of Text. Text Categories .
Plot of a Literary Work .
System of Literary Images
Narration in Fiction ...
Message and Toning of a Fiction Text ..
Seminars

 

Text Interpretation as a Branch of Linguistic Studies

 

1. The concept of text interpretation.

2. Approaches to text definition.

 

Interpretation is the process establishing, either simultaneously (known as simultaneous interpretation) or consecutively (known as consecutive interpretation), oral or gestural communications between two or more speakers who are not able to use the same set of symbols. By definition it is available as a method only in those cases where there is a need for interpretation if an object (of art, of speech, etc.) is obvious to begin with, it cannot draw an interpretation. In any case the term interpretation is ambiguous, as it may refer to both an ongoing process and a result.

Interpretation is a term used in informal education settings to describe any communication process designed to reveal meanings and relationships of cultural and natural heritage through first hand involvement with an object, artifact, landscape or site. This is primarily known as heritage interpretation.

An interpretation can be the part of a presentation or portrayal of information altered in order to conform to a specific set of symbols. This may be a spoken, written, pictorial, mathematical, sculptural, cinematic, geometric or any other form of language. The purpose of interpretation would normally be to increase the possibility of understanding.

Interpretation crisscrosses cognitive theory and provides explaining and commenting on the meaning, thus it is oriented on the language in its dynamics, i.e. speech.

 

The term text is used referred to different spheres of life thus it possesses a set of dictionary definitions representing usually a single narrowed meaning.

Text (Lat. textus to weave, construct, compose) has multiple meanings depending on the context of its use:

In language, text is a broad term for something that contains words to express something.

In linguistics a text is a communicative act, fulfilling the constitutive and regulative principles of textuality. Both speech and written language, or language in other media can be seen as a text within linguistics.

In literary theory a text is the object being studied, whether it be a novel, a poem, a film, an advertisement, or anything else with a semiotic component. The broad use of the term derives from the rise of semiotics in the 1960s and was solidified by the later cultural studies of the 1980s, which brought a corresponding broadening of what it was one could talk about when talking about literature. In this respect it may relate to the corresponding term discourse.

In academics, text is often used as a short form for textbook.

In communicative linguistics, text is a verbal record of a communicative event.

The difference in understanding of text in linguistics and literature studies lies in the approach to its analysis. In literature studies it is considered to be an aesthetic phenomenon, in linguistics it is a verbal object.

We have to know that an object becomes the one (an object) when it suffers from some activity directed on it.

A subject is some component, side, aspect of the object; its a point of view from where the object is seen.

So it may be concluded that literature studies and linguistics analyze the same object but different subjects.

So, text interpretation focuses on the revealing of the content the author had inserted into the text. The interpretation of texts began as early as ancient Greece, in the time of the early philosophers and poets. By the time of Plato, in regards to education, studying the interpretation of Greek poetry was a foundation of learning.

The main task of text interpreting as a research is to draw as much information from the text as possible, but not to cross the limit of interpretation.

There are 3 things that allow interpretation to occur, and these are all interlinked and interdependable. These 3 factors are the writer, the text and the reader. Through the act of interpretation the reader is the person creating meaning, and the writers original intended meaning is often overlooked or ignored. It is the reader who produces meaning by participating in a complexity of socially constructed and enforced practices. From this, interpretation produces values and meanings that are outcomes of an active process and that the process always occurs within specific cultural and political contexts and has a direct link to the world that the reader lives in.

 


Date: 2015-01-02; view: 1524


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