MRS

regarding my thoughts on the author is not god —

when i say this, i don’t disagree when people say that the author is god because the world they create has boundaries and they world build and they determine what goes on in it and create the characters that populate it etc. — that’s true, and I’m not going to say lol they’re wrong because they’re not

nor do i want to undermine the empowerment that various writers and authors can find in contextualizing themselves as god.

and if someone does hold to the idea that the writer is god then i’m not going to fight them over it because writing meta is extremely multi-faceted and i’m not going to say, well you can’t say this about writing because of reasons

because writing is. its own beast, its own monster, with its own teeth that tear into your soul and won’t let go and that’s one of the reasons it’s so beautiful to me. 

however, i personally have been leaning away from the idea that the author is god because i believe that this approach is too self contained —

literature does not exist in a void and, much as the west is infatuated with the image of the lone writer at his lone desk with his lone raven, i am more of the opinion that writing is a communal activity because the writer bounces off their friends, interacts with their editors (and their alphas and their betas!), and because of their various -isms and -ists. 

so when i say that the author isn’t god, i find it primarily useful in decentralizing the author from their work — ie, in refusing to see their work as isolated soap bubbles of their own imagination but rather as something connected not only to the author themself but to the events and world surrounding them. 

for me, saying that the author isn’t god points out that the author draws on experience and their perception of the world (which may or may not be problematic!) and people around them instead of the idea that they created their story from nothing — because they didn’t, not really.

however, i am also aware that i come from a white Reformed Protestant Christian background (ie, i was taught that god is omniscient, but authors are not—they do not know everything and are in a perpetual state of learning and they bring that to their own works) — so when I say that the author isn’t god, I’m drawing from that background—which is problematic in and of itself.

So yes, I do realize that my approach towards “the writer isn’t god” is flawed and limited — that’s why I won’t say you’re wrong if someone disagrees with me (because they’re also right!) and why I refrain from using this particular critical approach towards all literature and instead reserve it for texts that are blatantly offensive and problematic (especially if the writers are going around presenting themselves as god within the narrative itself so therefore the fandom/consumer/audience should just accept the canon as is no complaints like no…just…no i’m not going to indulge that special kind of ego).

04.04.13 /  33 notes
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