February 20th, 2010

inverarity

Authorial Intent, the Word of God, and Why All Comic Books Are Fan Fiction

So I'm taking a wee bit of a breather, now that the rough draft of AQATDR is done. Which means I'm only skimming it now and then and revising a paragraph or two... I'll get back to serious revision once I get my next batch of comments back from my betas.

I am already looking ahead to my next writing project(s). I'll probably discuss that in a future post. (Yes, I do intend to continue the Alexandra Quick series. Absolutely. But I may work on something else before I start writing AQ4.)

Anyway, since I have been thinking about writing so much lately (my own and others'), I thought I would dredge up a topic that has been circulating in HP fandom for quite a while, and in literature in general for ages: the issue of authorial intent.

For those not familiar with the issue, in a nutshell it's this: does the author's intended meaning of a text matter, or is it only the readers' perception of it that matters? Is an author's work open to interpretation, or if the author says, "It means X," does it really mean X?

Now, in academia, you have whole schools of literary criticism and doctoral theses debating this. In fandom, you have wank. (Which, let's be honest, is the same thing. Have you ever read an English Lit PhD thesis?)

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