Friday, May 04, 2012

But... What Does It Mean?

The question, when asked of a work of art, displays an ignorance of the nature of art, and is a request that all art take the form of propaganda or children's educational tales. Here is Dorothy Sayers on the topic:

"And it is desirable to bear in mind -- when dealing with the human maker at any rate -- that his chosen way of revelation is through his works. To persist in asking, as so many of us do, "What did you mean by this book?" is to invite bafflement: the book itself is what the writer means." -- The Mind of the Maker, p. 45

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