Authorial Intention and Agency in Luke's Acts/Outeursintensie En Handelingsrol in Lukas Se Handelinge

By Mkhatshwa, E. | Literator: Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies, April 2010 | Go to article overview

Authorial Intention and Agency in Luke's Acts/Outeursintensie En Handelingsrol in Lukas Se Handelinge


Mkhatshwa, E., Literator: Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies


Abstract

This article affirms the presence of the intentional consciousness in texts which purport to depict reality or real events. Intentionality, in the context of this article, is not conceived as a pre-existing thought or idea, which precedes the text, but as something which inheres in the text and is produced in it. The Cartesian split between consciousness and being which the former conception enacts is here elided and authorial intention is seen as something which is reproduced in the processes of writing and interpretation. This distinction is significant because the main argument of this article is that authorial intention in texts that purport to depict real events and intervene in a particular socio-historical process for mobilisational purposes, leads to the production of a certain kind of text which deploys specific narrative strategies that consolidate its reading and rendering of events and reinforce narrative closures. These intentionally motivated closures are embedded in narrative strategies, which are seen as both necessary and imperative for the consolidation and legitimation of the message and to foreclose other readings. Very briefly, this article seeks to reinscribe the agency of the author in his/her intentional stance with regard to the text. It further shows how this agency is enacted within the world of the text.

Opsomming

Hierdie artikel bevestig die teenwoordigheid van intensionele bewussyn in tekste wat hulle ten doel stel om die werklikheid of werklike gebeure uit te beeld. In die konteks van hierdie artikel word intensionaliteit nie gesien as 'n reeds bestaande idee wat die teks voorafgaan nie, maar as iets wat in die teks gevestig is en wat in die teks tot stand kom. Die Cartesiaanse verdeling tussen bewussyn en syn wat deur die eersgenoemde siening vergestalt word, word hier nie erken nie, en outeursintensie word gesien as lets wat geproduseer en begryp word in die prosesse van skryf en interpretasie. Hierdie onderskeid is belangrik, aangesien die hoofargument in hierdie artikel is dat outeursintensie in tekste wat poog om die werklikheid of werklike gebeure uit te beeld en sodoende toetree tot 'n bepaalde sosiohistoriese proses vir doeleindes van mobilisasie, lei tot die produksie van 'n spesifieke tipe teks. In sodanige teks word spesifieke narratiewe strategiee ontplooi wat 'n bepaalde siening en weergawe van gebeure bevestig, waardeur die narratiewe uitkoms versterk word. Hierdie intensioneel gemotiveerde uitkomste is ingebed in narratiewe strategiee, wat as noodsaaklik en onontbeerlik beskou word vir die konsofidasie en legitimasie van 'n bepaalde boodskap asook vir die uitsluiting van ander lesings. Kortom, hierdie artikel wil die handelingsrol van die outeur binne sy/haar intensionele instelling in die teks herwaardeer. Die artikel toon ook aan hoe hierdie handelingsrol sigself binne die teks afspeel.

1. Introduction

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who, from the first, were eye-witnesses and servants of the Word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1-4.)

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day He was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen. (Acts 1:1-2.)

The writer's assertion, "In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and teach" attests to the view that the writer of both Acts and Luke is one and the same person addressing his writing to a specific individual, namely Theophilus. The Book of Acts, therefore, is a continuation of the former book, namely, Luke. …

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