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Post Colonial Hermeneutics

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Chapter Summary

The study of sign systems, texts and visual art has become a vast and specialist area of critical thought. Interpreting the pictorial manuscripts from Mexico, as a culture-historical specialization, is a particularistic endeavor, which does not primarily aim at creating grand theories. At present the knowledge of the ancient Mesoamerican pictographic conventions is quite advanced, but certainly not complete. The preserved manuscripts form an arbitrary sample of elements out of context, which may contain biases and ambiguities. Contemporary studies of art and literature are inspired by the theoretical currents of our day: (de)constructivism, postmodernism and postcolonialism. They all contribute to a more profound and critical analysis of the interpretation process itself and emphasize that the interpreter is not a passive, neutral beholder, nor otherwise innocent, but, on the contrary, an active participant in constructing significance.

Keywords: Mesoamerican pictographic conventions; Mexico; pictorial manuscripts; postcolonialism; postmodernism



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