There is never, if you like, an interpretandum that is not already interpretans, so that it is as much a relationship of violence as of elucidation that is established in interpretation. Indeed, interpretation does not clarify a matter to be interpreted, which offers itself passively; it can only seize, and violently, an already-present interpretation, which it must overthrow, upset, shatter with the blows of a hammer.I don't have the time to write very much at the moment. But I was thinking the other day of all the conversations I've had with my daughter during her years of teenage struggle, and realized that I'm often just trying to keep her interested in herself as an object of interpretation. Maybe that's not the right approach, clinically speaking. But I have a hunch that remaining interested and interesting for oneself is a good way to push the darkness away for a little bit longer.
One sees this already in Marx, who interprets not the history of the relations of production but a relation already offering itself as an interpretation, since it appears as nature. Likewise, Freud interprets not signs, but interpretations. Indeed, what does Freud discover beneath symptoms? He does not discover, as is said, "traumas"; he brings to light phantasms with their burden of anguish, that is, a kernel that is itself already in its own being an interpretation (Michel Foucault, "Marx, Nietzsche, Freud" in Aesthetics, Method and Epistemology (New York: The New Press, 275-276).