Literature as a (doorway) to self authority through education and insight
October 27, 2017
People like to read, lots of people like to read the introduction to a book, there’re many reasons for reading introductions to a book: sometimes you want to know contextual information: what was the society like, what was education like, what was weather like… Sometimes you want to know statistical information: how many people are this book appropriate for, what type of people are likely to read this book, what type of audience is the author directing this book towards. Just as frequently, people want to know about the author… they want to know so that they can have more insight into the author’s meaning. Many readers believe having a psychological insight into the machination of the author’s mind will allow them greater insight into the meaning being conveyed by the author by his book as the media. “What is the author teaching us?”
Death of the author: (possible reference to death of concept through appellations)
When we read a book, any book, whether it be, Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra, Plato’s republic, or the latest Jackie Collins passionate exploration into heaving bosoms. Are we reading something the author’s trying to tell us, some meaning, the author’s trying to convey, or are we reading something we overlay from our own psychological make-up into the author’s description.
Ideas of existentialism: Without a doubt the author is trying to convey to us something, whether in a philosophical treaties, or some solution to the epistemological problem. Whether in some fascinating travel guide, as to the exploration of a plateau in Ethiopia, or whether the pros and cons of a specific diet, combined with a certain exercise routine; the author remains attempting to covey his or her idea, believes, information, etc… something about the author, or the world around him or her… (rebirth of the author) What we can take from the author’s information is so limited as to be almost non-existent. To truly understand the author’s complete meaning, we would have to have traveled with them, within their mind, with both, access to their conscious, and unconscious mind, from the moment of their birth to the last full-stop of whatever article they just produced, in such complete depth, we surpass the understanding of the author themselves.
My argument is that combined with insight, the authority, given by any piece of literature and/or artwork, lies with the reader. When I read a poem, and poetry being a particularly effective example, the metaphor, the metonym, the similes, etc…the inhalation and exhalation of rhythm within each line, contained within each stanza, the rousing passionate call to arms, or banality, less than inspiring nothing but ennui (forgive my double negative, or understand them); may be encouraged by the author, but in ‘reality’, the only reality available to us, the one designed by our environmental conditioning, and the strength of insight we applied to said conditioning, the infinite universes, of landscapes it works upon, are of our own creation.
What the author brings to the book is a feather tickling all the possibilities that ‘the I’ could bring to the book; its colour, its aroma, its texture, its flavor, its depth, the chimes of symmetry with our place in psychological community, the flowers that grow have been watered by my own experience, and the barren deserts are due to my own lack of precipitation
By discovering my own authority, with regard to the universe, the universe living within (possibly the only universe), literature, becomes the teacher as myself, godlike, I as literature. Literature becomes doorways, doorways opening to landscapes, landscapes of my own conscious thoughts, and unconscious motivations. Every word, of every sentence, of every article, novel, poem, essay, etc..., now become a key to locked areas of myself.
All life’s experience, whether a mundane existence of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, repetitive work, soap operas, and 8 hours a night, or whether perched on top of a spectacular mountain, sipping VSOP, smoking Cuban cigars, and watching the sun defusing irradiated light, through the water molecules of low hanging mountain cloud; the level of excitement, how memorable the event is, how passionately we believe that the event has altered our very way of being, are next to irrelevant. All events, no matter they’re magnificence, or they’re normality, become the key, the key we previously mentioned, offering insight, existence altering insight, an existence we’re already unconsciously familiar with. This authority, combined with insight, combined with the ‘death of the author’, is allowed to us through the medium of art, and for me most especially, the medium of literature.