RARA-AVIS: Re: The definition of classics

From: Dave Zeltserman ( dz@hardluckstories.com)
Date: 05 Nov 2007

Kevin Burton Smith wrote:
> Or when they claim for themselves intentions attributed to them
> after-the-fact by critics.

Sometimes (quite often) writers are working at a subconsious level, and an astute critic will point out these themes that are developed at that level. It doesn't mean it was accidental, and it doesn't mean that the author wasn't responsible for it. Of course sometimes critics will see stuff that was never intended--consciously or subconsciously, and sometimes critics are just dense and lazy in their reading, preprejudiced by their own assumptions and will see whatever they want to see (example, a fairly well-known critic who wrote me a note explaining that he quit halfway through Fast Lane because my PI was making him uncomfortable, that I need to learn how to make my PIs more likeable)

> I have no doubt writers (or at least the better ones) do have
> intentions when writing a book beyond merely moving units.

I would tend to think that most if not all writers understand what they're doing and what themes/intentions are being worked into their books--again either at a conscious or subconscious level. If you'd like to imply otherwise, how about some examples instead of these blanket statements?

--Dave Zeltserman

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