To Interpret is to Impoverish

July 2008

Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art. Even more. It is the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world – in order to set up a shadow world of 'meanings.'

— Susan Bean-Bag, found here.

KT commented:

See, that just trips me out with its meta-ness, because reading that comment in reference to 'This is fun' allowed me to categorise the blog as 'art', and kind of go 'so they're being artistic then... all right, if that's what they're trying to do then sure, I can go with that: cool.' But does that mean that SB-B's comment is itself an interpretation of the blog? Or is it just so to me, subjectively?

Furthermore, what should I make of the fact that I feel so much more comfortable about 'This is fun' and can enjoy it a whole lot more now that I have a category for it, whereas it just freaked me out when I had no idea what it was? The lack of an interpretation hindered my enjoyment. Hm, well I suppose what I can make of it is that I have indeed conquered/defeated/subdued a work of art by understanding it.

But maybe interpretation is itself an aspect of 'art/the world', and SB-B's comment is the revenge of the [meta-intellect?] on interpretation, an attempt to deplete it by understanding it...

I should stop before I hurt myself.

Matt commented:

Haha wow. That's awesome. See, I totally love reading things like this not knowing what they are, and enjoying them greatly for being nothing more than themselves. Eventually I will likely search for an interpretation, but generally I'll wait until the end. David Lynch movies (Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway) are very similar experiences, and I love them.

I think I come across so much genre-defying stuff on the internet that I've learnt to just accept and enjoy.