Sunday, April 11, 2010

Meaning in Literature

Some books have loads of hidden meanings and messages. In some books, almost everything is a metaphor. Some people enjoy guessing at what they're metaphors for. These people are looking for meaning in literature beyond what the author intended for them to find. That's all fine and dandy. If you find something profound in a book that has a positive impact on your life, who cares whether or not it was supposed to be taken that way?

However, problems arise when you actually ask the author of said book(s) about it.

The following is from YA author Maureen Johnson's twitter page. The "John" is fellow YA author John Green, who I have mentioned several times in the past.

Q: "Why do cars feature so much in your books?" John: "Well, they're good ways of getting people around."#meaninginliterature

John is currently on tour with co-author David Levithan for their new book Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I read this book, and it is very excellent, and I recommend it to all of you, but that's not the point. Maureen joined them for a few events, and has been reporting on proceedings via Twitter.

People of the world: in the words of one of the Potter Pundits (a group of university scholars who specialize in the Harry Potter books and are featured on the podcast known as Pottercast), "sometimes a wand is just a wand," and sometimes a car is really only a car.

So when you ask me if I was poking fun of Twilight: no...but if you want to take it that way, that's fine by me. 
As to what I actually meant...I don't think I'll tell you.

By the time we next meet, you will all have (hopefully) read chapters 21-37, and will therefore be almost halfway done with the book. At this rate, I'll be back to reading you short stories in only a month or two. :)

Tangent on WGWG:

Summary: John wrote the odd chapters, about one character named Will Grayson, and David Levithan wrote the even chapters, about a different character named Will Grayson. The characters meet about a third or so of the way through the book. John's Will Grayson grapples with being anti-relationship while helping his best friend Tiny produce the world's greatest high school musical, which happens to be a slightly fictionalized version of Tiny's life story.
A funny book, and insightful book, and in all, a very enjoyable book.

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