|Death of the author, film at 11
||[Jan. 10th, 2019|11:46 pm]
Just watched a really interesting Lindsay Ellis video talking about the literary theory of the Death of the Author—the idea that texts should be read without taking into account authorial intent. |
One of the points it touched on was the book The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, in which an author of a book with an unresolved ending said that nothing happened after the unresolved ending, because it was just fiction, it didn't "really" happen. The video takes the notion seriously, given that it was also the intention of John Green, the author of the novel. But it doesn't make much sense to me.
I don't really get the idea of "not knowing what happens after a story ends." I mean, for the stories I write, I necessarily know a lot more about the universe I write in and the lives of the characters than shows up in the stories. That's how it feels like a real universe. And that includes knowing what happens before and after the written bits. After all, that's the stuff I have to think about if I want to write sequels or series.
I mean, in order for my characters to feel real to me, they have to have lives beyond what I write. I can't imagine just writing to a set point and then stopping and not having any idea what would have happened next. Characters I write feel real to me, and so do characters I read. Why would you go just that far and then stop unless your intention is expressly to sneer at people who get that much into the books they read?