Is the Hermeneutic Interpretation of Art Erotic? A Reader of Gadamer Responds to Sontag’s Challenge
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The object of the article is to assess whether the concepts of erotica and the erotic can be identified with the hermeneutic interpretation of art as understood by Hans‑Georg Gadamer. The starting point of the discussion is Susan Sontag’s essay ‘Against interpretation’, in which the concept of the erotic interpretation of art is outlined and which culminates with the author setting up a deliberate opposition between the erotics of art and hermeneutics. The present article is an attempt to present the issue of the eroticism of hermeneutic interpretation on the basis of Sontag’s essay, and thus a response to the provocation contained in this essay. In the final part of the text, another possible approach to the issue of the postulated eroticism of hermeneutics is presented. The first part of the present article is devoted to explaining what Sontag means when she writes about the erotics of art and hermeneutics. The next part will demonstrate the connections and similarities between the concept of erotic art presented by Sontag and Gadamer’s concept of the hermeneutic interpretation of art. In the third part of the article I present Gadamer’s proposition and answer the question of whether the hermeneutic interpretation of art can be erotic. The final part of the article is devoted to invoking additional arguments for linking erotics and hermeneutics, followed by a summary.
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