Authorial Intent

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Wed Jul 16 20:41:37 EDT 2003

>If someone is setting up as an expert -- and that is what the critic, any
>critic, must do, or must be deemed to be doing, because they are
>*interpreting texts to others*, and to be doing that is to be saying "I
>know whereof I speak, so hush up and listen"

I don't think this is always the case, but that perhaps is a function of my 
theoretical standpoint. I don't see that offering an interpretation is 
necessarily telling others to hush up and absorb my brilliance. I do speak 
from a perspective of having done some research and thinking about a text, 
so I have some knowledge, but not necessarily "authority".

>-- then s/he should be
>prepared to be told "you made a mistake", and far more importantly should
>be prepared to accept "I made a mistake" and *say so*.

It very much depends on how this statement is being made. One person's "you 
made a mistake" is another's "I read it differently". Errors in fact are a 
lot harder to establish in my field, where the facts are all at such an 
historical distance.

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