Questions tagged [authorial-intent]

For questions about the concept of authorial intent. Please do not use this tag for questions about authors' intentions as they relate to a specific passage of text.

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39 votes
7 answers
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The author of a literary work disagrees with critics about meaning—who's right?

I've just come up with a conjecture on what a piece of literature means, but the author has said that they didn't mean for their work to suggest that. For example, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is ...
Aurora0001's user avatar
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19 votes
1 answer
1k views

How much weight is given to authors' intentions in literary analysis?

When people analyze literature, one of the first things people seem to do is look for interviews or quotes from the author where the author describes the meaning they intended their text to have. My ...
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15 votes
2 answers
823 views

How much weight should we give authors' declarations of their intent after the fact?

Very closely related: How much weight is given to authors' intentions in literary analysis? Related (as an example of what I'm talking about): Is there any textual evidence to support that ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is it reasonable to use the movie version of a book to interpret the book when the same author wrote both?

Related: How much weight should we give authors' declarations of their intent after the fact? Just to give a concrete example of what I'm asking about, I'm thinking in particular about The Hunger ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
476 views

Why are the magicians who captured Morpheus "rubbish"?

Neil Gaiman is on record saying the people who captured Morpheus in issue #1 (i.e. Roderick Burgess and the Order of the Ancient Mysteries) are completely rubbish, English, sort of Crowley-esque, ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
813 views

Was authorial intent ever taken seriously in academic literary theory?

What does the author mean? and What does the author want to say/convey/express/...? are questions we heard countless times during literature classes at school. In other words, it is a common didactic ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
180 views

How can readers ascertain that they have identified the author's intent?

We currently have several questions about auhorial-intent, for example, How much weight is given to authors' intentions in literary analysis? and How much weight should we give authors' declarations ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
105 views

Do advocates of authorial intent theories consider conscious intent on the author's part mandatory for something to constitute literature?

Related: Does computer-generated poetry, stories, etc. fit in any common definition of literature? And the associated reading challenge proposal that inspired the questions: https://literature.meta....
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
85 views

Has Antonin Scalia's version of textualism influenced literary theory or hermeneutics?

The late U. S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia famously advocated a form of textualism, interpreting legal texts as reasonable readers at the time of the law's writing would've understood it. (...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
105 views

Is "The Island of Doctor Moreau" about colonialism?

It is, certainly if you are told of it, inescapable to see the parallels between Moreau's converting beasts into men and England's "attempts" to civilize "colonials" (Did the ...
releseabe's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
29 views

What did European textbooks on teaching literature from the 1970s and 1980s say about the relationship between interpretation and authorial intent?

Literature Stack Exchange has several questions about autorial-intent. An example from 2021 asked Do literature interpretations actually reflect what the author had in mind? There are also many other ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
60 views

Do literature interpretations actually reflect what the author had in mind? [duplicate]

I read an article about a writer who was asked about the interpretation of one of his books, and he had a hard time coming up with something that would be aligned with the expectations of the jury. ...
WoJ's user avatar
  • 231
-2 votes
1 answer
243 views

Why do we study the Tone when analyzing a passage?

The definition of Tone seems to be entirely based on author's intent. But I remember reading that modern Literary Analysis heavily discourages relying on author's intent when Analyzing a passage. Why ...
Chris Slojkowski's user avatar