Every moment of a process of interpretation or performance is stratified into at least three levels: pretheoretical, intentional, and reflective. These strata can never be separated or picked apart. A given strata is never necessarily present but we can never expect that any are not present. For example, there is the potential for intentionality at every point across the interpretive/performative process. The writer has an intention, though this is mostly occluded. The text has intentionality although this is the strange intentionality of particular orderings and trajectories. The writer’s intention and the text’s intention are interdependent but they are not identical. The process of interpretation has intentionality as foreunderstanding and prejedice play on the text. The interpreter or actor is intentional both with respect to the text and with respect to the audience. The process of performance intends certain goals and the audience with respect to itself and the performer intends certain changes or feedback. Every moment in this interpretive/performative process shot through with both pretheoretical and theoretical, voluntary and involuntary, tacit and explicit understanding. These strata are detailed in table 1.

































However this table indicates that one is able to enter the interpretative /performative process at a specific point at a given strata and penetrate through to deeper or other levels. I do not believe this to be the case in reality these strata should be thought of as tightly coiled, constantly rotating so that it is never possible to determine from the outside at which point or into which strata one will first plunge.

2 thoughts on “Interpretation/Performance

  1. I like the chart. In moments of “flow” or “inspiration,” the mind goes almost dark, as if under automatic pilot. Where on your chart do you put the muses or the holy spirit? The tongues of flame, the burning coal, or speaking in tongues?

  2. Well, Tutor, I would not be excited to try an pin down the Spirit. Still, exercise in futility that it is … I would sketch a red streak in the pretheoretical row which is perhaps burning at its most intense in the performance column. Paul caught this well, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words” Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf (.wmv file) Romans 8.26

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