How should I interpret a classical text? However I interpret it, someone else will so do differently, and even the nature of the interpreter's task is a matter of dispute; consensus is not a realistic prospect. Malcolm Heath sees the inevitability of such disagreements, not as a problem to be deplored, but as a constructive force, at once an essential part of the process of enquiry and a reflection of the endless diversity of the questions that interest the readers of classical texts. Accordingly he argues for an approach to interpretation that is theoretically reflective and committed to an open-ended, yet rigorously critical, pluralism. Against that background he examines a range of issues in literary theory, including the nature and significance of authorial intention, the relevance of context and reception, and the possibility and value of historically oriented interpretation.
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