Article Details

In: KulturPoetik 2019, Issue 2


Jan Borkowski


Kontextualisieren – aber wie? Am Beispiel von Interpretationen zu Hölderlins Hälfte des Lebens




The interpretation of a literary text involves many procedures like description and analysis, elucidation and explanation, among others. One of these procedures is contextualisation. Contextualising a text means to consult sources external to the text and draw conclusions from them in order to determine the meaning of the text or some of its particular aspects. Most scholars would not doubt the importance of contextualisation. Yet few have attempted to ex-plain this method. How exactly is one to find a context? How do we determine that some-thing is a context? And what follows from this? The paper addresses methodological ques-tions like these and illustrates them by using examples from interpretations of Friedrich Hölderlin’s poem Hälfte des Lebens. In addition, conceptual and theoretical issues pertaining to ›context‹ and contextualisation are raised.