Genre and Interpretation

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Despite the immensity of genre studies as well as studies in interpretation, our understanding of the relationship between genre and interpretation is sketchy at best. The article attempts to unravel some of intricacies of that relationship through an analysis of the generic interpretation carried out by us all in everyday life, and the role of generic interpretation in scholarly work. The article argues that the role played by genre in interpretation has as much to do with the individual characteristics of an utterance as with its relationship to other utterances. An interest in the generic traits of an utterance will lead to a characterization of its individual, as well as its general characteristics. The article proceeds to describe three central concepts within genre studies that are applicable to generic interpretation: “horizon of expectation,” “world,” and the triad “theme-form-rhetoric”. The purpose is to form a heuristic tool for generic interpretation whose primary value lies in its conceptual open-endedness, and the ease with which it interacts with a broad variety of utterances and genres.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenre and ...
EditorsSune Auken, Palle Schantz Lauridsen, Anders Juhl Rasmussen
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
Publication date25 Jun 2015
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-995899-5-1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2015
SeriesCopenhagen Studies in Genre

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Genre, Interpretation, Gérard Genette, Jean-Marie Schaeffer, Alastair Fowler, E.D. Hirsch, Peter Seitel, John Frow, Carolyn Miller, Anthony Paré, Judy Segal, Anne Freadman, Amy Devitt, Hans Robert Jauss, Andres Jolles, Jaques Derrida, Dieter Lamping, Ralph Cohen, Mikhail Bakhtin, Fox News, This Hour has 22 Minutes, BMW, Julius Caesar (skuespil), Parody, Thomas Pavel, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Cleanth Brooks, Richard Wagner, J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians, William Shakespeare

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