Power

Rosemary Arrojo - From: “Writing, Interpreting, and the Power Struggle for Control of Meaning: Scenes from Kafka, Borges, and Kosztolany”

If, as Nietzsche argues, any attempt at mastering a text, or the world as text, “involves a fresh interpretation, an adaptation through which any previous ‘meaning’ and ‘purpose’ are necessarily obscured or even obliterated” (1969:12), the implicit relationship that is usually established between authors and interpreters is not exactly inspired by cooperation or collaboration, as common sense and the essentialist tradition would have it but, rather, is constituted by an underlying competition, by a struggle for the power to determine that which will be (provisionally) accepted as true and definite within a certain context and under certain circumstances. As Kafka’s and Borges’s stories have shown us, in this textualized, human world, where immortal essences and absolute certainties are not to befound, the indisputable control over a text, its full completion, and the definite establishment of its limits cannot be simplistically determined nor merely related to its author onceand for all. If one cannot clearly and forever separate the author from the interpreter, the text from its reading, or even one text from another, and if the will to power as authorial desire is that which moves both writers and readers in their attempts at constructing textual mazes that could protect their meanings and, thus, also imprison and neutralize any potential intruder, is it ever possible for interpreters to be faithful to the authors or to the text they visit?



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