Definition of Hermeneutics
When we return to the characteristics of modernism above, we can know that the limits of understanding about postmodernism are marked by resistance or doubt about the flow of rationalism, which is influenced by the development of science and technology, and believes in pragmatic meaning. In connection with this, the way to get knowledge or look for truth in the tradition of postmodernism is one of them, namely Hermeneutic Mode of Engagements (Alwasilah, on Jastickle Papers).
For literary studies related to postmodernism there are at least two approaches that can be used to approach or analyze literary works, namely deconstruction and hermeneutics.
As a form of restriction to be simpler, the presentation of this paper will only focus on the hermeneutics study.
The word hermeneutics comes from the Greek hermeneuein which means to make sense. Hermeneutics initially appeared in religious studies to interpret scripture verses. Other experts say that the term Hermeneutics which is in English hermeneutics, comes from the Greek words hermeneuine and hermenia, which respectively means to interpret and interpret (Raharjo, 2008: 27).
The hermeneutics experts are Gadamer and Heidegger.
Gadamer is of the view that something can be understood from language. This is in line with the expression zoon logon echon which means humans as creatures speak. Furthermore, the hermeneutics emphasizes understanding. The intended understanding is the interpretation of the text. The text needs to be interpreted because there are differences in space and time.
The ultimate goal of hermeneutics is a better understanding or understanding (sense making) of the interaction of various constructs that already exist, then analyzed to make it easier for others to understand (Alwasilah, 2010).
A general description of the term hermeneutics is also expressed by Zygmunt Bauman, namely as an effort to explain and trace the message and basic understanding of a written utterance that is unclear, blurry, dim, and contradictory, which causes confusion for listeners and readers (Faiz, 2003: 22).
With regard to literature, hermeneutics is used as a tool for interpreting literary texts. Interpreters of literary texts should not be closed in dealing with a text. The interpreter should open himself up to seeing other texts which are very likely to have influenced or influenced the text being studied. Faiz (2003: 23) calls it a consideration of the horizons surrounding the text, namely the text horizon, the author horizon, and the reader horizon.
If the origin of the word hermeneutics is demanded, then the word is a derivation of the word Hermes, a god in Greek mythology who is in charge of conveying and explaining messages from the god to humans. According to another version it is said that Hermes was a messenger who had the task of delivering Jupiter’s message to humans. The main task of Hermes, who is described as having winged legs and better known as Mercurius, is to translate messages from Mount Olympus into the language used by his listeners. Since that time Hermes became a symbol of an ambassador who was burdened with certain missions (Sumaryono, 1999: 24).
Departing from the Greek myth, the term henneneutik is interpreted as the process of changing something or a situation of ignorance into understanding, especially this process involves language because language is the most perfect mediation in the process (Palmer, 2003: 15).
According to Palmer (2003: 15-36) mediation and the process of bringing the message to be understood which is associated with the God of Hennes are contained in three basic forms of meaning from herme neuein and herme neia. The three forms use the verb from herme neuein, as follows.
First, herme neuein as to express, to assert, or to say, this is related to the notification function of Hennes.
Second, herme neuein as to explain, the interpretation as an explanation emphasizes the aspect of discursive understanding. Interpretation focuses more on explanation than the dimensions of expressive interpretation. The most essential thing about words is not to say something, explain something, rationalize it, make it clear. Someone can express a situation without explaining it, and expressing it is an interpretation, and explaining it is also a form of interpretation.
Third, herme neuein as translate. In this dimension to interpret means to translate which is a special form of the basic interpretative process of bringing something to be understood. In this context, one brings what is foreign, distant and incomprehensible to the mediation of one’s own language, such as God Hermes, the translator becomes the media between one world and another world Palmer (2003: 15-36).
Definition of Hermeneutics