The UVic Writer's Guide
Several modern approaches to language and literature propose that
the meaning of a text can never be fully determined or fixed because
the immediate meaning of a text is the result of the particular
cultural and social background of the reader; further, the nature
of language itself is such that the author's original "intention"
cannot itself have been fixed and definite when the work was originally
created, quite apart from the tendency of language to generate
its own meaning over time.
That a text is inevitably indeterminate does not mean that all
readings are of equal validity; it does mean, however, that all
meanings we draw from it are partial and provisional, and that
what we write about it is itself a text, open to further interpretation.
See Ambiguity , Intertext, Intertextuality.
Literary Terms (By Category)
Literary Terms (Alphabetized)
Table of Contents
Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria,
This page updated September 23, 1995