In search of lost sense or the adventures of interpretation
Iterpretation is the process or the bid through which we make sense of some details of the word, transforming them in this way in signifiers. This bid may or may not match the project of someone who gave form to those details. In any case, interpretation is the semiotic problem par excellence. Unfortunately we don't have a viable semiotic theory of interpretation, mainly because the semiotic tradition was developed using given signs (signs socially recognized as such, i.e. having yet received a sense) as departure point for the analysis. There are two main tendencies coming out from this: one is giving for granted that there is a right meaning for every expression, to be discovered or explained by semiotic analysis; the other is thinking that interpretation is the (arbitrary) process of more or less freely append new meanings (interpretants) to the first one. The fact is interpretation is a socially ruled process, that follows cultural limits and ways. What can and what cannot be an acceptable interpretation for a socially recognized sign (or a new sign-to-be), is question of culture. So semiotics needs to develop an ethnology of interpretation. In this lecture, after proposing the theoretic frame for this need, I will discuss some system of interpretation fairly different from the most usual standard of our culture, as the Talmudic one, freudian dreams interpretation and divination.