Word of the Day

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

exegesis

\ek-suh-JEE-sis\ , noun;
plural exegeses \-seez\
1.
Exposition; explanation; especially, a critical explanation of a text.
Quotes:
It is a fiercely argued exegesis of Shakespeare's plays in the tradition of Samuel Johnson, Hazlitt and A. C. Bradley, a study that is as passionate as it is erudite.
-- Michiko Kakutani, "Vast Shakespearean Drama With All People as Players", New York Times, October 27, 1998
These are tightly argued, crisp exercises in literary and cultural exegesis which make perfectly clear the brilliant patterns of language and oftentimes strained analogic thinking of the poets.
-- review of Made in America, by Lisa M. Steinman, in the Journal of Modern Literature
No variety of love is too trivial for exegesis. No aspect of love is so ridiculous that it hasn't been exhaustively reviewed by the great thinkers, the great artists, and the great hosts of daytime talk shows.
-- P. J. O'Rourke, Eat the Rich
Their works are the subject of innumerable analyses, exegeses, seminars, and doctoral theses.
-- Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont, Fashionable Nonsense
Origin:
Exegesis comes from Greek, from exegeisthai, "to explain, to interpret," from ex-, "out of" + hegeisthai, "to lead, to guide." Thus an exegesis is, at root, "a leading or guiding out of" a complexity.
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