Against Interpretation In Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party

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Susan Sontag’s article ‘Against Interpretation’ voices one of the most crucial issues that art is facing in today’s society. This is the issue of “interpretation”. Today in our society of information explosion and excessiveness, every work of art allows for more output than ever before. This leads to critics and interpreters analyzing and breaking down works of art as opposed to enlightening about them or experiencing them in a personal level. In this whole process of interpreting art there a massive loss in our sensory experience. This approach of Susan Sontag may prove extremely beneficial when discussing Harold Pinter’s ‘The Birthday Party’ where it becomes obvious that narrative cohesiveness is not an option. In fact, the more one attempts to analyze the narrative structure and content of the play, the more one may find oneself utterly lost in an inescapable labyrinth of sorts. Analytical breakdown of such work which is purely meant to be felt is actually replacing it with one’s own translation and taming it to make it comprehensible. Such reduction of the play hinders its full potential and completely…show more content…
The paper aims at exploring how Susan Sontags “Against Interpretation” theory clearly defines the objectives of Harold Pinter’s play ‘The Birthday Party’. ‘Against Interpretation and other essays’ is a collection of essays by Susan Sontag published in 1966. This celebrated book quickly became a modern classic, and has had an enormous influence in America and abroad on thinking about arts and contemporary culture. The seminal essay focuses on Susan’s averse attitude towards the contemporary style of interpretation which lays stress on the content and the meaning of an artwork rather than appreciating the sensuous aspects of a given work and developing a descriptive vocabulary for how it appears and how it does, whatever it
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