- By testing how well concepts from (what we take to be) our reality are fit to capture what’s in the text. Like testing tools by working with them. The very meaningfulness of the text will thus be questioned (for the concepts might not fit), but also the very effectiveness of our concepts, and thus our notion of reality (since what notion do we have of it apart from our concepts?). It'll open more questions than it will answer.
Take Kafka’s “Report for an Academy,” for example. We can ask: Is this an allegory—say for colonialism? – Kafka’s story is thus treated in the first way. It draws attention to the reality of colonialism, and redescribes it in such a way as to make us more attentive to what is involved.
On the other hand, we may ask: What notions do we have in our language to capture the distance between what the monkey was and what he has become? Is the Monkey’s ordeal like the ordeal of a teenager whose parents got divorced? Or like that of going through a forced sex-change operation? Or like trying to explain what it is like suffering clinical depression? Or then again, is it like the ordeal of getting kidnapped from one’s homeland and being slaved elsewhere? Do we have ready-made language for describing what happens to him? And what does that say about our concepts’ capacity to deal with distances--mental, spiritual--in our reality?