Unit 2 Assignment 2 Jack Lyons

What does professor Denham mean when referring to Celan saying that “the poem seeks its meaning in the audience”? Does this mean that there is a kind of semi-autonomous nature to an artwork that is independent entirely of the creator’s intention? Can this be true for works other than poetry and other artwork? How does a poem seek this ‘meaning’? Professor Denham also mentioned Walter Benjamin’s idea of ‘pure language’ which helps illuminate the efficacy of translation in not only make a work accessible to a wider audience, but also redefining and casting the work in a new light so as to further approach this ‘pure language’. I can only understand this ‘pure language’ to be related to the dilemma of the inherent imperfection of language; the idea that prof. Quillen addressed which is the loss of full meaning when communicating with language. So does this mean that a work can only be fully understood if it is continually reinvented beyond what was intended in the original piece?

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