restricted access Interpretation and Resistance

People who talk about interpretation often suggest that what is interpreted must offer some kind of resistance, in quasi-physical terms. The physics entailed by such suggestions is never fully specified, and for a good reason: it is purely nonexistent. This essay presents arguments against physical fantasies in interpretation, very current in the humanities and the social sciences, and offers a different picture of interpretation. The picture has two parts: interpretation is described as a way of dealing with intentions, motives, purposes, linguistic noises, actions, meanings, and so forth, relative to all sorts of stuff; and interpretation is a default condition, rather than an optional acquired talent.