Interpretation of the Text: From Poetic to Postcolonial

Recently published by the ACRPS, Interpretation of the Text: From the Poetic to Postcolonial, by Moroccan author, Mohamed Bouazza unpacks the problem of reading in multiple theoretical models. Examples include Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutics of narrative or Mikhail Bakhtin's sociology of the novel, or the semiotics of Julia Kristeva and Umberto Eco, or the deconstruction Jacques Derrida, or the postcolonial reading of Edward Said. The author also tries to explain the strategy for reading  put forward by each model, by  clarifying the underlying concepts and investigating its foundations.

The book (192 pp.) is divided into five chapters. The first suggests an interpretive perspective for narrative, as a model of autonomous self-development and of the world. The narrative for Ricoeur - based on Aristotle's poetry - reveals comprehensive aspects of the human condition. The significance of Hermeneutics for Ricoeur's narrative lies in transcending the formal technical perspective to give way to the  the narratives sanctified by structuralism, which considers the narrative a symbolic discourse, inseparable from the contemplative effort in the mystery of existence.

The second chapter approaches the dialogue model formulated by Mikhail Bakhtin in relation to the conversational properties of the novel. He was a revisionist of Russian formalism while also a critic of Marxist materialism. This dual critical consciousness enabled him to formulate a narrative model in the reading of novel, capable of understanding the specific ideology of the text, by emphasizing that the dialogue form was the focal point in every interpretation of ideology in the novel.

In the third chapter, Bouazza looks at the deconstructivist semiotics of Julia Kristeva who used a new model for semiotic analysis of the text. The value of this literary science from the epistemological perspective is that it represents a dynamic model derived  from its axis of multiple epistemological and philosophical models. The fourth chapter approaches the strategy of interpretation that stems from the dilemma of pluralism. He asks: Is pluralism infinite or infinite? He tries to dispel this problem by reading a dual reading between Umberto Eco's interpretive model, which is based on a semoitic reference, and Derrida's interpretive program, which is based on the philosophy of deconstruction.

Finally, the fifth chapter looks at the worldly interpretation of the aesthetics of representation to the politics of representation. Bou Azza explains the strategy of the interpretive reading, which was founded by Edward Said in the criticism of Western culture, refered to as a "contrapuntal reading". This reading stems from the deconstruction of the text with simultaneous awareness, which imposes a dual discourse on the text, to uncover the hiddden meaning. In the sense, it involves the internal criticism of Western theory, while also engaging a critical deconstructivist re-reading. Built on the postcolonial awareness of the difference between histories and cultures, this model creates a shift within the imperialist epistemology that implicitly conceptualized the Western theory of the other and governed its represenatation.

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