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AUTHOR-Based Approach


Focus of Hermeneutics is actually on examining what is absent rather than what is present Find Roots in the work of the German philosopher Martin Heidgger and American Hermenutist Hirsch Jr. Hermeneutics in one way or the other stands for a place where in the most natural, original way subjectivity and the sociocultural, -political and economic backdrop have to come together with the being of the text relegated to a

Hermeneutics encompasses not only issues involving the written text but every aspect involved in the process of interpretation The process of interpretation in Hermeneutics include verbal and nonverbal forms of communication as well as prior perspectives that affect- positively or negativelycommunicative process, such as presuppositions, preunderstandings, the meaning and philosophy of language and semiotic relations

Thus Hermeneutics stands for the analysis of texts for coherent explanation and interpretation This experience resides in an imaginative continuum of certain patterns, themes, problems, dilemmas, and images focusing on the relation and nature of experience to the artistic process

Hermeneutics attempts to interpret and understand social events by analysing their meanings to the human participants-mainly the writers self-and their culture

It emphasizes the importance of the context as well as the form of any given social behaviour

The central principle of Hermeneutics is that it is only possible to grasp the meaning of an action or statement by relating it to the whole discourse or world-view from which it originates

Hermeneutic circle: Relationship of the whole to the part and the part to the whole

How can we escape our current viewpoint and see a piece of literature as its author intended?

There is no language free of prejudices and preferences. Nor can we get outside language to some purer mode of understanding Words mirror objects imperfectly at surface level of language but it is on their multilevel reflecting surfaces that truth become perceptible These patterns are not merely containers for words, but interpretive conventions, ways of understanding, and ways of locating relevant subjects for discourse. Hermeneutics sees interpretation as a creative effort to compose an understanding on the part of the


The authority of a text is its reliability as a witness to the author's intentions that can be:

Initial medial final

An attempt is made to explore authorial intention- either it is recoverable or this recovery is impossible A text's authority becomes more problematic when it has more than one author, when it falsely asserts itself to be someone else's work or when it is revised many times

Hermeneutic Code: the voice of the truth

Associated with enigmas of the text It is entities or elements that articulate a question and its answer, as well as events that prepare the question or delay its answer

Thematisation. What in the narrative is an enigma? Positioning. Additional confirmations of the enigma. Formulation of the enigma. Promise of an answer of the enigma. Fraud. Circumvention of the true answer. Equivocation. Mixture of fraud and truth. Blocking. The enigma cannot be solved. Suspended answer. Stopping the answering after having begun. Partial answer. Some facets of the truth are revealed.

HERMENEUTICS IN EFL/ESL CONTEXT For an EFL/ESL learner, from Hermeneutical perspective, reading literature is actually a process of decoding the language codes that are operative in the composition of any given text and the socio-historical and cultural contexts in which it was composed EFL/ESL teacher must compose this position by explaining how he/she teaches a PARTICULAR piece to a group of historically ignorant students

For an EFL/ESL learner, literary text contains a historically accurate interpretation in terms of the meaning of the text, and the role of hermeneutics is to recover that meaning

The major concern of an EFL/ESL teacher is to rehabilitate reference itself

Basically EFL/ESL teachers practice is to inform his/her students of the sedimented meanings of the terms around which pivot the kind of interpretation that would be performed by a person of the target writers generation, culture, and gender-a traditional hermeneutic recuperation of the text Hermeneutic interpretations are thus instrumentally different from literary texts, and language is understood as a set of techniques for presenting information unmediated by authorial

EFL/ESL learner as an interpreter thus becomes a cataloguer of semiotic references that can be applied to a text in the way that meaning is buried in language that has become opaque because of the passage of time This position of the literary text in Hermeneutics continues to privilege the past Thus, an EFL/ESL learner exploits interpretation only to efface the changes that language undergoes in time, employing language as secondary to context simply to present the discoveries made by interpretation

The production of an interpretation and explanation about a text, requires the application of special topics and methods on the part of the learner/reader

From Hermeneutical perspective, for an EFL/ESL learner a text is not a repository of meaning, but rather a potential opportunity for discourse

However, there is no absolute standard of evaluation for interpretive propositions in Hermeneutics because interpretation happens within informal, open systems involving words and systems of thought that cannot be codified and formalized The purpose of Hermeneutical interpretation, thus, is not to represent thought in words or to convey abstract meanings to others by means of words, but rather to exert power over experience-to

EFL/ESL teacher is required to make the students understand that when meaning is understood as resulting from authorial intention, a single stable meaning is assumed available to a particular methodology, and one topic is always privileged over all others

This makes some of what is learned in a literature classroom relevant to other endeavors without rendering literature subservient to other

Interpretation is understood not as a psychological event or metaphysical quest or a methodical reconstruction of a historical consciousness, but rather as a conscious effort to apply formalizing principles to previously formed matter through an exploration into the experience of the writer

Hermeneutics provides the argumentative framework for evaluating the relative plausibility of various interpretations and, most significantly, it provides a practical method in an EFL/ESL context for discovering how to offer interpretations--for inventing meanings

What is alien for a learner is worrisome and so must be normalized by the employment of different means by the instructor as it is always possible to redirect compositional attention