Monday, July 10, 2006

Authors don't own their books

That's the title of this post by an author about a bad review, and the thoughts about inability to control interpretation it inspired.

1 comment:

Jocelyn Smith said...

Well, at least he's not lambasting them for interrogating the text from the wrong perspective!

Any writer can sympathize with him (probably moreso than with Rice), but on the other hand, a guide for first-time authors that I've been reading reminds us that the readers have no one to exclaim, "But that's not what I meant!" when they interpret the text. It's up to the author to make sure that the interpretation they want is abundantly clear, and of course, it's impossible to wholly succeed with that. Some readers and reviewers are going to get it wrong--which results in them declaring that the author got it wrong.

So who's really wrong? The writer in their expression, or the reader/reviewer in their interpretation?

Neither, both. When anyone finds out, write a book about it. Somebody will interpret the book wrong, though.