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"All worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn't your pet -- it's your kid. It grows up and talks back to you."
"As for our intentions, well, that's all bunk. We may intend our music for one person or another, but who's to say? I can't decide who reads my novel or buys my record. Look what that did for Jonathon Franzen, who snubbed Oprah for liking his book. It's an arrogant, imperialist motive to try to determine who will receive you and who won't."
"The artist usually sets out -- or used to -- to point a moral and adorn a tale. The tale, however, points the other way, as a rule. Two blankly opposing morals, the artist's and the tale's. Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it."—D.H. Lawrence
"...authors seldom understand what they write. That is why we have critics."—James Hurst, on being asked what his short story "The Scarlet Ibis" was about.
"The critic on the morning paper said of my first play: "Inept." The critic on the afternoon paper said: "Drivel." Both reviews totally misunderstood the play. The critic on the morning paper said of my second play: "Pretentious." The critic on the afternoon paper said: "Abhorrent." Both reviews totally misunderstood the play. The critic on the morning paper said of my third play: "A Smash Hit!" The critic on the afternoon paper said: "A Triumph!" Both reviews totally misunderstood the play."They are now misunderstanding to my advantage. In the arts, that's known as success."
—Jules Feiffer cartoon.
"What it comes down to is my interpretation of my work is really immaterial. I'm not really a believer in art or music being institutionalized or put in galleries and stuff like that. I think art is something for the use of the public. It's for the public to interpret it, and to use it almost like a sustenance to life. It's the interpretation of the listener or the viewer which is all-important."
"Rihanna said "People should not take the lyrics too literally. I don't think of it in a sexual way, I'm thinking metaphorically. It's more of a thing to say that people can talk about you, you just have to be that strong person who-" Oh, I'm not even going to dignify that. Yeah, and Let's Get It On is actually a protest song about the Vietnam war!"
"The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author."—Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author"
"I love it when someone tells ME what goes on in SotS... I find it so educational."—Martin "Mecron" Cirulis
"The beauty of music is that it's so open to the interpretation of the listener. I've said over and over again that the intent of the writer is so much less important than the interpretation of the listener."—Michael Stipe, REM