Authorial Intent

Writing / Saturday, March 10th, 2012

I had a conversation with one of my students this week about the meaning in literature. We were discussing how we hate reading texts like teachers want us to read texts because we prefer to see the story as the story was written, word for word. A tree is a tree, a clap of thunder tells us it’s raining and nothing more.


This inspired me to write a second book for every book I write. It will consist of my own interpretations of my writing. It will be marketed to explain things to readers and make sure I’m understood better and things won’t change as society changes and reads things differently. The only catch is that I’m just going to make every single thing up in my interpretations.

“She walked across the room and stroked his cheek.”

Guess what this will mean.

I’ll explain this passage as something like, “Clearly the stroke of the cheek represents the ever-looming fear of bear attacks. This can be seen in chapters three and four also where she holds the door for him and steals one of his fries off his plate, respectively. And it should be made clear that she certainly didn’t walk because she is a vet who lost her legs in the war. While this wasn’t expressly mentioned in the text, I figured you should have use the clues I pointed to in chapters 8, 11, and 43 (chapter forthcoming). In chapter eight, I mentioned that she slumped into a chair. Only amputees can slump in the way I suggested. In chapter 11 there is a glow about her, also not mentioned but implied, and this glow suggests a higher power aiding her as she brushes her hair. Chapter 43 will be published posthumously, as will the chapter 43 interpretations.”

Consider it a thank you to all the teachers and professors who made me do this kind of thing for grades. That ought to confuse the hell out of them.

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