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Hermeneutics and Novels in Ming-Qing Dynasties

Common points exist between the doctrine of “investigatory reference” in literature commentaries on novels in Ming and Qing dynasties and the doctrine of “closing reading” in Anglo-American literary commentaries. One of them is that both ideas aim at arriving at an understanding of the true meaning of a text. Both ideas emphasize that to have a true understanding of the true meaning of a text, a reader needs to go beyond the language and his/her subjectivity; a reader should have a macro vision to avoid a blind eye. Both ideas emphasize objectivity as an important principles of reading. Both ideas emphasize recognition of the objective existence of texts as the foundation of reading texts, and repeated reading as an important condition to ensure objectivity of reading.

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