thread: 2005-04-07 : Theme: Observed?

On 2005-04-07, Charles wrote:

Sorry, I should have put that in the open house thread.

Okay, I'd say that's still interpretation not observation, just that interpretation can't be completely non-grounded in the text.

It is certainly possible that you say "You're missing this this and this," and I say, "I reject those as being relevant for such and such a reason," and we part disagreeing on what the theme is. The theme is not an observable object, it is something which is interpreted from the text.

If you don't agree that two people can legitimately disagree on what the themes of a work are, then I am at a loss. If you do agree, then I guess I can deal with you calling that a result of observation not interpretation (although I think it gums up the vocabulary).

On the "right now" question, I don't see how this differs from any other art form. I can enjoy the meaning in a work of art while it is going on, or I can enjoy it while reflecting on it ten years later. The same is true of a roleplaying game or a book. Obviously, the two differ in that I can reread the book ten years later, while I can't effectively replay the roleplaying game, but that is also true of live theatrical performances. The big difference between roleplaying and most other art forms is that we are both author and audience simultaneously, but that seems like a different issue.


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