Warning: Navel gazing.
Another reaction I had after researching interpretations of I’m Thinking of Ending Things (ITOET) was felling bad I didn’t come up with any of them. Which is not surprising - I have a lot of trouble interpreting complex works of art, being it paintings, books or movies. For example, I don’t understand poetry at all. If someone starts reciting poetry to me I’m completely unable to follow, although I listen to podcasts/audiobooks at 1.8x speed. I can also really enjoy David Lynch movies, although I have no ideia what they mean.
Seems to me that plausible interpretations of works of art come easily to other people. Maybe as easy as plausible solutions to technical problems come to me.
I was pretty lost when looking for interpretations of ITOET. I thought that maybe I lack the talent to interpret art. Some people are born to be good at math. Others are born good at art. And those are how things are.
But then I realized how similar the technical-problems solving skills are to the art interpretation skills. You come up with hypothesis (potential solutions/interpretations) and test them out against the evidence (by trying the solution on the problem/checking if the interpretation explains all the features of the work of art).
The activity of coming up with hypothesis involves some creativity - coming up with new solutions/interpretations you’ve never seen before. But I think a big part of it is “just” pattern matching - what solutions/interpretations solved similar problems/works of arts to the one I’m looking at now?
And if this is the case, then someone’s capacity to solve technical problems or interpret works of art is based a lot on past experience at doing similar things. The more technical problems you were presented and solved throughout your life, the better you will be at solving them in the present. The more works of art you analysed throughout you life, the better you are at doing it in the present.
Seems to me that the role of experience on the development of technical-problems solving skills is more emphasized than for the development of art interpretation skills, and this led me to having the intuition that I’m naturally bad at interpreting art. I now see this skill as no different than my lack of ability to sew clothes - I’m pretty bad at it, but I know that if I practice it, I will probably become good at it.