Authorial Intent & Readers

First, when speaking of authorial intent, I’m not talking about when you write a tragic love scene but somehow everyone who reads it is laughing hysterically when they should be crying.That is craft and beyond the scope of this 🙂

No, for today, we’re talking about the task of trying to figure out what a passage means (as dictated by the author), or who a poet is writing to. You know, fun stuff.

But is it? I know in college we had to play these games, and back it up with “proof” from the manuscript, but the truth of the matter is… None of it mattered. Not one whit, to my reader self.

My reader self saw a line from one of the cannon and went “oh”, quiet and small in the beauty of the phrase. I wasn’t concerned about the implications of the phrase, about who the narrator was speaking to, or any of that.

I was wrapped in the beauty of the words.

And that is what, ultimately, we writers want. We want readers to become wrapped up in our worlds, our words.

Does it matter to you who I wrote the following to:

 

We danced in
the kitchen,
sunshine just
kissing the sky.
The whole world
wrapped in my arms.
We sang your
favorite lullabye
before the day came
to take us our
separate
ways.

 

Does it matter who I wrote it to? What I wrote it about? Or does it ultimately matter more what you get from reading it? As writers, we map a journey. We do it artfully, with any luck, but we map it out. The reader must take the journey.

So.

Authorial intent.

I never really cared who Shakespeare wrote his sonnets to. I only wished someone loved me enough to try and pretend they had written one for me LOL

 

Have a wonderful weekend, my lovelies, filled with writing or reading. Or both.

 

 

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