13 Answers

  1. The writer wrote a book. She passed the editorial board of the publishing house and was sent to the printing house. Finally, the book was printed, glued together, and sent to the store. From the moment you pick up a book, pay for it, bring it home, and start reading it, the author who wrote it CEASES TO EXIST. The author parted with his book forever. He had lost control of her. Now only the reader's opinion matters. Therefore, only your opinion matters. All that the author wanted to say, he said and withdrew. Now it's your turn to be the co-creator of this book. And the meaning that you found in this book is the TRUE MEANING. And if you didn't find the point in it, then this book is gibberish and garbage. Put her in the furnace! The only thing that matters is the work of art that feeds your soul, your brain, and your feelings. All art exists only to impress you and make you like it. Believe me, only your opinion matters!

  2. I read for the sake of the plot and characters.

    I'm not looking for insights, I don't need them.

    I don't care if the author had some deep idea or not.

    And I don't understand why people often look for some deep meaning when there is already a book with a certain plot.

    if the author wanted to add something else, I think he would just cram it in the explanation))

  3. You need to understand that creativity for an artist is, first of all, a way of communicating with society. I think that an important role here is played by the narrative, as it is presented to us in the philosophy of postmodernism. After all, to a certain extent, all texts that appear in the history of literature are narrative, and their meaning, in one way or another, is connected with the reader's interpretation. Only from Homer, Dante and even Pushkin, which the author is so shy about, we are separated by centuries, so the narrative thread is lost.

    There is no doubt – the artist certainly wants to say something (always!), but what exactly depends on the interlocutor, because the interaction of the author and the viewer/reader is a conversation, even if it is carried out through art.

  4. I can't say that I don't like the question “What did the author want to say”, but rather I don't like what is usually behind it. Therefore, I will drown for the option “no, don't”. And here's why.

    I do not believe that the authors tell us anything in a strict, assertive manner. I can't believe that books are written only for the sake of a poor syllogism about killing/stealing/lying/oppressing – bad, and something else is good. There are, of course, those who do just that, moralistic authors, but this is a separate category and a different calico. In the end, it is not these statements that make a particular work of art.

    “What the author wanted to say” usually implies that the book-film is nothing more than a reason for frank journalism. This approach is particularly sinful for the typical Soviet critique, which divided everything into “denouncing capitalist corruption” and “sympathizing with the proletariat.”�

    If the author does something, it certainly does not “want to say/assert”. He wants to hint. And the process of reading or watching a movie is not solving the riddle that the Great Author asked us, stupid cattle that two plus two will not add up without his approval and hints.�

    Reading is a meeting where the writer and reader are on equal terms, think about problems in the same way, and try to understand what is going on in general. The meaning of the work, if we are talking about meaning at all, is precisely in this situation of the meeting of the source text and our view. It's nowhere else to be found. Not in the book/movie, not in our head. And you certainly don't need to look for the “true meaning”, because it smacks more of conspiracy theory.�

    And the meaning of the work is considered quite simply. To meet the author and the reader, there is a special etiquette: a handshake, a small small talk, and a heart-to-heart conversation itself. There are formal techniques for handshakes and initial conversations about the weather. For a deeper dive, there is a context – historical, cultural, and philosophical-from which we understand when and under what conditions this was done.

  5. Works of metaphors, works of parables, that is, there are not so many works with a “super-task”, in fact. Half of literature, especially modern literature, is pure fiction, and reading it is similar to watching a TV series.�

    In addition, there is literature that is worth reading just for the sake of style, and not for the search for Deep Meaning – for example, Averchenko, Dovlatov, Bulgakov, Twain, etc.

    As for the works of parables , the question should be asked, but formulated differently: not “what the author wanted to say”, but “what I can understand”.

    A high-quality work of art is very similar to an IQ test. But not classic, publicly available ones, where the only correct answer is still there, although it requires non-standard thinking. Rather, it resembles advanced ones, for diplomats and special services, in which it is required not to specify the only correct answer, but to justify under what conditions each of the options will be correct.

    For example, 80% of those who read Golding's Lord of the Flies will say that it is a story about the adventures of boys on an island. Or about Erofeev's “Moscow-Petushki” – what is it about the journey of an alcoholic in an electric train? This is the level of the Unified State Exam.

    With the remaining 20% , you will talk about the religious and philosophical concept revealed by the authors, or about the laws of the functioning of the human psyche emphasized by them.

  6. of course, it is necessary to understand what the author wanted when reading his works, because this is natural. It is also natural how to understand the person who is speaking to you. Words and language are given to us in order to learn to understand each other..Another thing is that we rarely understand each other anyway, and as Exupery said – “Human words only make it difficult to understand each other.” I partly agree with him – there is egoism behind every word-cultural, national, political, everyday, etc. Again, we need to understand that the authors we read are ordinary people with their own weaknesses, limitations, even delusions-sometimes they do not understand what they want and what they are looking for – they want to speak out, describe their vision of the world and being, and although they sometimes do it with talent, it is not a fact that they see and transmit information without their distortions..This should be taken into account.
    In general, to grasp the meaning is either such a gift or it is a well-honed experience of a person formed in the course of life.. for the first one, you don't need any explanations , it works on its own. For the second , you just need to be dedicated to it, as they say, search and find.

  7. A person who answers with pearls of thoughtfulness, such as:” This pardigma will change in 50 years and only specialists in the historical grammar of the Russian language and historians will study Pushkin. ” – such a person is not worthy of a meaningful answer.

  8. A good and difficult question. You won't be able to answer all types of art at once. There are nuances everywhere. A dance, a song, a novel, a performance, a painting, a poem-all have their own subtleties. Everywhere the author “meant something”. The only thing that I would combine everything with-feelings, emotions. Often we are looking for some specific, logical explanation, and it lies in the sphere of feelings, emotional associations. I suggest reading Will Gompertz's book ” Obscure Art. From Monet to Banksy.” It is very superficial, but its value lies elsewhere – it is linear in the history of the development of modern art. To fully understand the author is often hindered by elementary gaps in the knowledge of a particular area or even several areas. Because everything went from somewhere, came somewhere, someone broke the framework of the direction, introduced something radically new… etc… and all this affects when you watch a movie, or look at a picture. Going to see Van Gogh's paintings without being prepared is pointless. You can “snatch” something, but without a biography not only of the author, but also in general of the time in which he lived, the country, city, environment, connecting with previous trends – you will not be able to fully feel “what the author meant”. Just feel it!

    And if we are talking about any classical works of art that have excited more than one generation, then I call them “balls”. It is impossible to see the ball from all sides at once, there is always one side in front of us, a little turned – another story, but the ball is still the same. Therefore, there may be a feeling that “everyone has their own meaning”. In fact, the volume of the idea that the author puts into the work is such that we are not able to carry it all at once. Even if we are savvy, we pick out some parts of the idea.

    Of course, you should ask yourself a question! For then why do we need all these works?)) but as far as contemporary art is concerned, almost everything is designed to evoke feelings, not thoughts. Here I am sitting at a concert of the contemporary Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, and this is rushing from the stage…. it's hard to convey, it's not Music in the usual sense. This…. I don't even know how to describe it. But at a certain moment, I suddenly feel that it is an early morning in the forest, the windows of an abandoned house open, white translucent curtains, half-asleep…. And then I find out that the piece was called “Forest Music for Orchestra”. And I smiled. So I'm not an idiot and I got it right.)

  9. In contact with each reader, the book becomes something different, different. The book is like a living work, it is not static.�

    Therefore, YOU should not ask YOURSELF the question “what the author wanted to say”. You can and should ask yourself what I “hear” and feel when reading this, how it affects me, under the influence of WHAT the author might have written it, but not exactly “WHAT the author wanted to say”.�

    But this question can and should be asked to the AUTHOR, of course. But only to him and no one else, only he has the right to talk about this topic.

    Outside the author of the “true meaning” – no, only you, the reader, know it.

    But this is if the question concerns, let's say, the truth, the original source.

    But it's a good idea to listen to the most interesting person's reasoning about “what the author might have wanted to say”. It is not from the position of “what the author wanted to say”, but what a talented and intelligent person thinks about it. For example, I listened to almost all available lectures on literature by the writer, critic and publicist Dmitry Bykov.

    Yes, he often speaks from the position of “what the author wanted to say”, but he is a very good specialist and practitioner, and this is what makes him exceptional.

  10. Here we must proceed from the fact that there is no “true meaning” of the work. Art, as well as other human-made phenomena, is completely socially constructed, meaning that the meaning of its existence depends on the social context. In a broad sense, this is what Scott Lash called the “cultural paradigm” (by analogy with the scientific paradigm of Thomas Kuhn), that is, the currently dominant type of cultural environment that determines what can and cannot be called culture in general (genres, ideas, high-low culture, etc.). In a narrow sense, culture manifests itself at the level of individual social groups (classes) or, in Bourdieu's terms, people with similar habits playing on the same social field. That is, culture is traditionally an element of domination, first of all bourgeois culture with its love for such things as” taste ” – the same Bourdieu quite beautifully described how artistic taste is a kind of symbolic system by which people separate their own from others.

    That is, in other words, if we want to decode the” meaning ” of a work, we must understand the cultural code in which that work is written. If we read “The Divine Comedy” or “The Iliad”, and even, to be honest, “Eugene Onegin”, we usually do not understand anything at all – the symbolic language in which such works were written is lost, for us it is just a set of some incomprehensible words: My uncle ruled someone there, then for some reason seriously fell ill, etc. – from the point of view of the overwhelming majority of contemporaries, this is just a meaningless set of words, which requires specialists in philology and Pushkin studies to decode. Why are we still doing all this at school? But because Pushkin is part of the modern Russian cultural paradigm, something necessary. This pardigma will change in 50 years and only specialists in the historical grammar of the Russian language and historians will study Pushkin. And it turns out that there is no “deepest meaning” in it (there is no such thing at all) and the trouble described in the popular American song will repeat:

    Oh God, pride of man
    Broken in the dust again�

    The same applies to culture as a reflection of a person's position on the field of social play: even within the same historical era, people with different educational levels and different social status often cannot understand the meaning of a particular work of art. To do this, they need authority (“it's a shame that Julian Barnes is a famous English writer”) or downright special education (“you'll learn to listen to jazz in our courses”).�

    In general, to summarize: the search for “deep meaning” is available only to narrow specialists-cultural teachers (philologists, musicologists, historians, etc.). An ordinary person will either see a clear and clear sign system and then understand the meaning, or they will not see it and, accordingly, will not understand it.

  11. I will try to simplify and give an example from personal experience. Think of Platonov's ” Descendants of the Sun “or Zamyatin's” We”. It would seem that the main characters of both works have committed terrible acts. However, if we put ourselves in their shoes – and wouldn't we do the same? This is the literature that makes you think and conduct a dialogue in your head with the conventional Platonov or Zasyantin. Why did this happen? Couldn't it be otherwise?

  12. You can and should ask yourself this question, but you should understand that there is no “right” answer to this question, just as there is no “true meaning” of works of art. Can we (or could the author himself) definitely say what is the true meaning of Beethoven's “Moonlight Sonata” or Malevich's “Black Square”? And if, for example, the author himself does not see what most consumers see in the work, then what is the true meaning in this case-what the author wanted to say, or what he really said?�

    With the meaning of music and painting is not easy, but maybe with books easier? It is clear that any author of any work tries to put some meaning into it – but is it possible to establish to what extent he succeeded and to what extent he did not? Especially if you take into account that the author's idea is not static, but a changing thing (already in the process of creation). And if you consider that the author himself may not be aware of what exactly he expresses with his work (he wanted to say one thing, but said another). And if you consider that the author's own opinion about what he wanted and what he managed to say can change not only in the process of creating a work, but also after its completion. But even if for the author himself the “true meaning” is not something unchangeable, what is it for us?�

    We may come close to understanding the author's intentions, but we will never fully understand them.

  13. I'll try a shorter one. I divide the book into three levels

    The first one is on the surface (all cases plot)

    second-average( what the author wanted to say)

    the third is deep – what the author did not want to say, but said. That's why it's worth reading. That is, to act as the author's psychotherapist as just an in-depth understanding of any art( and especially literature), because there is a lot of material, it is much easier to interpret from the point of view of meaning.

    But do not strain yourself too much, pleasure is still the main thing.

Leave a Reply