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

Deliberately steering clear of academic criticism, since that's what you asked for (granted, not what you answered and therefore presumably not the intended meaning of the question. Badum tish.): ...
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24 votes

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

(I previously posted this as an answer to this question, but Hamlet wanted to focus on actual textual analysis rather than discussing the intent issue, so I've separated this out into a new Q&A) ...
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  • 1,334
14 votes
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Is it reasonable to use the movie version of a book to interpret the book when the same author wrote both?

Regarding authorial intent after the fact, a number of complaints from readers boil down to "If the author wanted to include that bit, it should have been included in the books to begin with." These ...
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7 votes

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

When trying to determine authorial intent, it is reasonable to use any source from that author, as long as it is not contradicted by a more direct source. The only problem with using movies in which ...
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  • 171
6 votes
Accepted

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

The way that this question is worded implies a particular theory about how literature is interpreted (that is, it's a theory-laden question). The implicit theory seems to be that we interpret ...
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5 votes

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

It is interesting to hear an author's analysis. It is interesting to hear an academic's analysis. It's interesting to develop YOUR analysis. There can't be any general rule regarding which is '...
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3 votes

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

How much weight you should give to an author's declaration about intended meaning or interpretation depends on the theory of literature you espouse. In a related question, I briefly discussed E. D. ...
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3 votes

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

It is generally a bad idea to assume that the movie is the same as the book. Even when the author is a stickler for control, and manages to get his or her own way, things must be adapted for the ...
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3 votes
Accepted

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

Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986 and his first book on textualism, A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law, dates from 1997. The idea that the interpretation of ...
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3 votes

Was authorial intent ever taken seriously in academic literary theory?

Wimsatt and Beardsley's essay The Intentional Fallacy wasn't flogging a dead horse, nor did it bury the concept of authorial intent. One of the most influential statements of intentionalism is E. D. ...
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2 votes

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

In many cases, we can infer the author's intent from the way the work is presented. The author may present numerous scenes that show character A in an unflattering light, from which we deduce that she ...
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