29 November 2012

ABG, Always Be Glossing

With the previous post--an early section sliced out of Thoreau's Walden--and with most posts, I want to be clear that the title of the post is an interpretive instruction or direction or signpost, or what-have-you. That is to say, "think about this as you read that."

So, "Another's Brass," for example...perhaps you would skim the selection and notice that this phrase is  in the text.  Finding it you set about reading more slowly in and around it.  Then you attempt to locate meaning in it as it is written and in its paragraph placement.  Good.  That is good.

Now, take that definitional perspective, as I'm sure you have decided its meaning, and apply it across the rest of the piece.  That is, make your first interpretation provisional and, so to speak, provincial.  By reading the piece with that framework you will both expand the meaning of "another's brass" and expand (or contract) the meaning of the sections to which you apply it.

The metaphor (the vehicle for meaning) of "another's brass" is indeed expansive.

It is first a literal idea.  To use another's money, to borrow and buy, is literally to use "another's brass."  But the figuration is then extended.


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