Reflections for Week 4–A and not A

Based off of our class discussions, it seems that there could not be an end to the author. Even the same story is usually retold with a twist in the plot. For example, the oral tradition of story-telling (and assuming the storyteller does not change the story around) will have different emphases depending on the voice inflection of the narrator. In like manner, a copy of painting will be slightly different from that of the “original” (which, ironically, is most likely based off and inspired by other works…)

To be an author, according to Silva, is something that is “new and recent” (97). Not signing your name to your work (as an author)  is to “give up a series of ingrained questions on one’s permanence, what is also known as life drive in the Freudian theory, in favor of a self-annulment of perpetuation, what Freud described as death drive” (99). When you forgo your signature on a work, you are denying socialization (99).


       When authors publishes their work, they have to realize that people will take their work and use them for their own intention. And, as we discussed in class, audience interpret work the way that they want to–and this is called intentional fallacy. Authors no longer seem to have any authority over their work. This can be both exciting and nerve-racking. Authors wonder whether the remixed work done on their original pieces will be honoring and maintain the author’s original intent, or if they parody/mock the works. However, this is a risk that authors and artists are willing to make–art is still being produced! 🙂  They know that will happen with their works.

However, I think that it is important to understand an author’s intent. In the logic class I’m enrolled in this semester, we talked today about different sorts of statements. And one of the rules that we talked about is how something cannot be both A and not A (in the same sense and in the same time)–it’s called a Self-Contradiction  and the statement becomes false. For me to interpret a work as “A” and the author’s intent was “not A” means that I have incorrectly read the intent. Now, this does not mean that I cannot enjoy my interpretation, but it does mean that it is wrong–and I need to realize that it’s wrong.

Let me take an example we talked about in class. Sometimes when I’m listening to a song (Spotify, radio…) and I don’t see the music video, my interpretation of the song can be different from the music video. Once I thought a song implied one thing, but it turned out almost the opposite was intended! It would be wrong for me to use my interpretation for the song as an illustration for something because, in the end, the song would be saying the opposite. I couldn’t say that in Keith Urban’s song “For You” he is saying that he doesn’t want to fight for you. Because he’s not saying that. My statement would be incorrect.

I think that intentional fallacy is dangerous. I can see instances where it is alright not to know the author’s intent (I suppose personal use might be a plausible example), but if you’re going to actually use the work, statements need to be valid. You can preface your interpretation with  “I thought that Urban’s song meant he did not want to fight and so that led me to feel [x,y,and z], but then I learned that really, Urban admits he is scared, but he is willing to fight–and die–…”  Then it’s okay because you’ve made the distinction between your interpretation “not A” instead of the author’s intent “A.”