7. A closer look at patterns


— Terms —

  • Introduced:
    • none
  • Mentioned and should now be familiar (review if necessary):
    • making sense
    • patterns and models
    • selection, organization / matching (SO/M)

— Chapter Abstract —


This is a brief introductory chapter to the following chapters. It classifies some patterns into two types: static and associated with the progress of time. It further suggests that culture can influence interpretation through its entanglement with patterns.

While successful completion of the interpretive projects for this class require some theoretical consideration of how *patterns are the foundation of interpretations, our primary concern is whether the cultural elements of those *patterns have an important role in *matching, and so in interpretive outcomes. Put more specifically, when we decide the significance of something—what it is, what it means, how we should engage it, and so on—does culture, as entangled in *patterns and *modeling, participate importantly in the process? I suggest that this is the case. Further, because of their social origins, the cultural aspects of *patterns themselves have independent dynamic power in the process of interpretation, a power external to us as interpreters. We are not free agents in the *matching process.

There are a few things I would like us to consider with regard to *patterns that insert into the interpretive process “alien” (anything “not me”) cultural elements as well as the “me” arising from a cultural identity of its own.

The issues of the next chapters are presented as, on the one hand, patterns with gravitational power (*attractors, *cultural attractors, and *mimetic desire) and, on the other, patterns with time-leaps (memories, and narrative questions of why something happened or to imagine what might happen). This order of presentation treats patterns either as “static” (objects) or “in progress” (narratives)—patterns of “What is that?” and “What has/is/will happen?” However, whether we are considering the cultural component of *attractors, desire, memories, or “*making sense” of the narrative, all have another important aspect of their status: whether a pattern is subjectively (by the interpreter) perceived as internal (personal), external (arriving to the interpreter via the thoughts and opinions of others), or, transpersonal, (where internal content more or less matching external content—shared values, for example). However, given my general distrust of the accuracy of self-awareness, I suggest that the interpreter may not know well the origin of *patterns and so the hand of culture is quite often invisible to the subject who believes to be thinking independently and freely.

The *patterns and *models to which we *match our *selected and *organized data, I hope to show, are deeply connected with the interpretations of others and, as a consequence, cultures in their complex variety.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Interpreting Love Narratives in East Asian Literature and Film Copyright © 2019 by John R Wallace is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book