Authorial Meta-Intent

It is an unfortunate truism that we are not in nearly as much control over our own actions as we think we are, and there is no particular reason to exempt writing from the list of such affect actions. This is often cited as a reason to adopt Death of the Author – that there will be non-noise patterns in the text that nevertheless not intended by the author. The casual racism of most literature before the present day, for example; the extent to which Greco-Roman culture underlies much of modern life, and the availability of their pantheon versus, say, the Hindu pantheon, all leave their fingerprints in modern works.

This is not a reason for complete philosophical panic. There is generally never a reason for complete phlilosophical panic. If the purpose of humanities is to gain a greater understanding of, well, humanity – humans and their culture – well, certainly, then, analyzing literature to back out details of the author’s local zeitgeist is worthwhile.

So let’s just call this Authorial Meta-Intent, or perhaps Meta-Authorial Intent, and again discord Death of the Author as needlessly discarding half the value of every work.