Haha, this is why I've never taken a literature class outside of high school when it was mandatory in English. Some of my classmates were just discussing this and how over-analyzing a book can suck the fun right out of it and take away the enjoyment of just reading. Plus, how can you ever be sure that the author didn't just mean blue curtains?
This is both what I love and hate about studying literature. On the one hand it's interesting to hear other people's interpretations of a work, but at the same time I don't like being told that what I interpret is wrong. Just because a bunch of academics decided years ago that the curtains represented someone's mood doesn't mean it's true. We take from a work what we want and sometimes I don't want people spoiling the fun for me. It'll be interesting what my new lecturer thinks about Crime and Punishment (which I have to re-read for this new course) compared to my previous lecturer.
Love this. Someone posted it on my FB page. Well one similar, there was some colourful language in the 'what the author meant' section. Reminds me of Stephen King in one of his books about writing. He said sometimes a story is just a story.
Yeah, I've seen the more colourful one on FB as well ;) And yes, sometimes a story is just a story. Unless the author has specifically said that "the curtains mean this" then my interpretation is as good as anyones. This is one of the things that pissed me off about my course on existentialist literature; my lecturer was telling me that certain works meant whatever whereas I though I had presented my interpretation is a clear enough way. But no, the universal interpretation is the one he wanted. Meanwhile I go out of my way NOT to read interpretations of works before I read them for fear of tainting my thoughts while reading. Ah well...