Hans-Georg Gadamer’s theory of hermeneutics is one of the most important modern theories of reading, offering both a framework for understanding the practice and a method for its interpretation. In this clear and comprehensive guide to Gadamer’s thought, Karl Simms:
- presents an overview of his life and works, outlining his importance to phenomenological theory and its place in literary studies
- explains and puts into context his key ideas, including the importance of ‘symbol’ and ‘festival’ to his work on beauty
- provides a guide to the practical application of Gadamer’s thought to the interpretation of texts
- presents a useful glossary of relevant terms and a section suggesting further reading.
With a significance that crosses disciplinary boundaries from literary theory and philosophy through to cultural studies and media, Gadamer’s pioneering work on hermeneutic theory remains of crucial importance to the study of texts in the humanities.