Why Authorial Intent and Death of the Author are Both Valid

When it comes to interpreting any sort of story, there are generally two schools of thought.  In one corner, we have the concept of authorial intent.  Those who argue in favor of authorial intent believe, at the basis, that what the author was going for and wanted to say with their story is the true, objective interpretation.  This remains true even if the author adds content or insight outside of the story through items like interviews.  However, in the other corner is the concept of death of the author.  This corner believes that the author inherently does not matter.  Instead, stories are completely subjective, especially in regards to what the story means.  It is up to the reader to decide what they mean, even in regards to story points that may be presented as vague.

For many, the argument between the two has no bearing on their lives.  However, spend time in any fandom long enough and you will see this basic concept come to the forefront.  Does the author clarifying this story point mean it is objectively what happened?  Does it matter what the author wanted for a message if other points in the story don’t support it?  Fans spend hours and hours arguing which is more important, usually with nothing gained at the end of the conversation.

In the end, though, I have a different position that I wish to take.  Rather than one being better than the other, I wish to argue that both are valid and have their place depending on context.  If this is a topic that interests you, I hope you’ll stick with me while I lay out my points.  Of course, remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion.  This is simply my own, and if you feel different that is perfectly fine.

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Some Thoughts on “Star-begotten” Chapters 9 & 10

As you can imagine, finishing up the last bit of Star-begotten by H.G. Wells means that all the cards are laid out on the table.  Somehow, through these last two chapters, we finally see what the true symbolic meaning of “Martians” is: the future and future generations.  However, we also see a brief window into the dismissal of the idea that we are held back by our own past.  As per usual, the following is simply my own interpretation of the story.

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Some Thoughts on Star-begotten Chapters 7 & 8

As the story of Star-begotten by H.G. Wells gets closer to the end, more and more negative qualities of humanity come about in both blunt and subtle forms.  Chapters 7 & 8 are no exception, as the idea of Martianization takes hold of the public, and we see the effects the news has on others.  However, these chapters in particular focus on two interesting aspects: our assumption that “rational” people all agree on certain matters, and the effects sensationalizing has on scientific inquiry.  As per usual, the following is my own interpretation of the story and just my opinion.

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Some Thoughts on Star-begotten Chapters 5 & 6

This week we continue our journey with Star-begotten by H.G. Wells.  Compared to the previous chapters, this week’s chapters take the ridiculous theory of Martianization and turn it into one that the characters more seriously explore and gather data on.  However, amidst the serious inquiry, we see a mirror held up to three of humanity’s flaws: our bias based on what we know, our tendency to draw conclusions from unscientific methods, and our tendency to see what we want to see.  As per usual, the following post is simply my own opinions, and you’re welcome to draw different conclusions.

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Some Thoughts on Star-begotten Chapter 2, 3, and 4

Continuing on with “Star-begotten” by H.G. Wells, this week I made it through chapters 2, 3, and 4.  Within these chapters, we begin to see the descent of Joseph Davis into what is potentially madness.  However, the story is weaved incredibly well, making the entire scenario feel all too possible despite how ludicrous Martian cosmic rays sound.  Thus, this week, I feel it is imperative to discuss how the story establishes authority to create believability, and also what the events mean for our modern day.  As per usual, the following is just my own opinion on the story.

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Some Thoughts on Star-begotten Chapter 1

This week I decided to start a longer length story to examine for my Friday posts for a while.  As such, my analyses for these will be a bit different than the usual short story ones.  Some posts may be theories, some may be an analysis on how elements are executed, and some will be the usual talk about what it all means.  However, hopefully you will still enjoy hearing my thoughts on them.

I start my journey off with Chapter 1 of Star-begotten.  Written by H.G. Wells, the story describes itself as a tale about a man who begins to believe that aliens are invading human life in some manner.  Much of Chapter 1 is spent exploring the protagonist’s, Joseph Davis, character.  However, within this chapter we see a brilliant execution that allows for one to believe both that Joseph is innocently blind, maliciously blind, and the only one not blind to events around him.  As per usual, the following are simply my own thoughts and just one opinion of many.

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Some Thoughts on “The Story of the Inexperienced Ghost”

“The Story of the Inexperienced Ghost” by H.G. Wells is best described as a tale within a tale.  On the surface level, it is an excellent ghost story that has just that little nagging sense of creepiness to get even the most ardent of sceptics.  Underneath this, though, the story has an interesting metaphor for ghosts and people.  As per usual, the following is my own interpretation of the piece and just an opinion.

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Some Thoughts on “Impact”

Colonization is often a red button issue for many.  There is no denying that atrocities have occurred in the name of colonization, but it is equally hard to deny the fact that the world as we know it would not exist if it didn’t happen.  Regardless of which side you fall on, there is no question that colonization will continue to happen as humanity stretches its wings into space.  “Impact” by Irving Cox is one such story that tackles the topic, and through the story we learn a stark lesson about one of humanity’s more negative features.  As per usual, the following interpretation is my own, and you should form your own opinions about the story.

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Some Thoughts on “The Road from Colonus”

There is no question that getting old kind of sucks.  While some are able to greet it with a rather jovial perspective, others become grumpy or depressed at their own mortality.  The subject of getting old is at the heart of today’s analysis.  “The Road from Colonus” by E.M. Forster is a tale that reminds us getting old does not have to leave us mentally depressed, but also reminds us that we cannot escape the physical reality of aging.  As per usual, the following is my own interpretation, and I encourage you to draw your own conclusions.

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