I confess that I hate this meme. Speaking as someone who has written a fair number of books, I can tell you that a) authors don’t always know what they mean; b) even when we think we do, the book is often doing something else that we don’t notice until readers point it out for us later; and c) once a book is out in the world, readers’ understanding of it matters more than whatever I might think I meant at the time.
This is a thoroughly stupid and reductive meme. It’s fundamentally hostile to what literature is all about.
There. I feel better.
One response to “A Brief Rant on a Popular Meme”
I've just finished reading The Secret Journal and wound up here checking out this blog article… I'm curious re your statement that authors depend upon readers' interpretation as opposed to your own thoughts in writing…interesting philosophy that may be unique for you, I wonder? For me, it was hard to find you, the author in your book…maybe that's a problem that you should consider for this one??? Just writing and let you interpret my thoughts…LOL