Meaning of Text

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This is a Wiki dedicated to determining the Meaning of TEXT. We aim to define the semantic field of TEXT by analysing the operation and production of texts in their specific historical and cultural moments. Our texts include the written word, art, graffiti, tattoos, and all other manifestations of meaning created by an author and received by at least one interpreter. This problematisation of TEXT is yielding a myriad of questions, many of which have been and still are at the core of literary studies; for example, should we privilege authorial intent? Can we read a text in its full textuality without recourse to its precise production? How important is the original text? How can we account for the materiality of text? Our semantic field aims at inclusion of these issues, but needs to exclude the nebulousness of the endless text-ness inherent in all objects.

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Andrew - Yahoo, I guess I’m the first one to enjoy the Wiki. I’m not even sure if I’m doing it right. But I guess I have to start with a question of some kind or a rant or something instead of this twaddle. Since as a class we’ve come to the understanding that the meaning of text is subjective, does this subjectivity spill over to any word, and if it does, what does that mean for the twenty-first century English dictionary? I ask this because if the meaning of the word “text” is subjective because of the author-reader relationship, then that must be the case for any word, which makes all dictionary compilers suspect because who are they to force their opinions on everyone else? This might sound inane, but I think it’s an important question.

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