Thursday, October 9, 2014

Flannery O’Connor on interpretation

Flannery O’Connor, writing to a professor of English in 1961:

The meaning of a story should go on expanding for the reader the more he thinks about it, but meaning cannot be captured in an interpretation. If teachers are in the habit of approaching a story as if it were a research problem for which any answer is believable so long as it is not obvious, then I think students will never learn to enjoy fiction.
O’Connor’s letter is available at Letters of Note.

Related posts
Against “deep reading”
Seventeen ideas about interpretation

[I guess I just wasn’t made for e-times. I had the book Letters of Note as an e-loan for two weeks and got only a quarter of the way through. Out of sight is out of mind, or at least my mind.]

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