Monday, November 21, 2011
A World Lens
Burke's "Terministic Screens" talks about how a person has their own frame of reference, symbols they use for interpreting the world around them. Because of this, words and thoughts would be hard pressed to be objective because any interpretation will be subjective. He says "any nomenclature necessarily directs the attention into some channels rather than others" (45). That means then one person may see something and go down thought Pathway A and another may see the exact same thing but end up at Pathway B. To me this complicates an artist's original intent with their work. If all thoughts are subjective, seen through these screens, how can a person see the artist's true intent if what the viewer gets out of it is completely up to them? The artist could literally say what their work is about but that diminishes its power. I see this all the time in poetry. An author from the 18th century or the 19th century writes something and in class discussion, there is no consensus to what the line means. Since the person is dead, they cannot be there to say exactly what they mean. But this to me isn't a bad thing. It allows for more than what the author intended. It allows for works to be interpreted in different ways, thus allowing it to be relevant even in modern times.