Show Less
Restricted access

Hermeneutic Commentaries

Edited By Pietro Pucci

"The question of “interpretation” of the text is at the center of this collection of monographs and commentaries on classical literatures. Interpretation starts with the realisation that at the outset, the sense of a text is an hypothesis to be gradually and constantly revised and ascertained. Grammar, syntax, and rhetoric are certainly the necessary part for this critical operation, but they fall short of giving full sense to the signification of the text. A philological commentary establishes the texts as close as possible to the author’s text, and provides the information necessary for modern readers to understand what the text meant to its contemporary users. But besides the impossibility of achieving this task fully, this sort of information does not provide the sense of the text as it opens itself to the questions of its individuality and universality, its historicity and its transhistorical iterability, as it hides the rules and game of its composition, its difference in order to show its identity. These opposite poles are constantly united and create a tension, a continuous oscillation that are the very domaine of the interpretative analysis, and the conditions of the text’s ever emerging sense . The hermeneutic circle, through which the critical hypothesis is constantly revised and made more precise, can be viewed also as a sort of deconstructive operation, a decomposing of the text in order to recompose it around its now discovered rules and games, of which the author is not necessarily always fully aware. Because of these conditions the sense of a text is more open to the critics than to its author; this point makes the critics conscious that as they are “reading”, they are in some way “writing” the text."