Writers and Readers - a Joint adventure
All writers write with the intent of being read, especially by people who understand and like what they have written. However, most of us know that not every reader will like a particular work. The major part of an author's marketing is to find her audience, that is those readers who will want to read a book and who not only will understand what the author is trying to say, but will like it as well.
But this doesn't always happen, even among readers who have been long time fans of a particular author. Is this then a failure on the part of the writer? Has she simply failed to do her job? Or has the reader not approached the work with an open mind and the necessary objectivity.
Years ago, when Woody Allen released his film, "Interiors" many critics complained that it was "too serious", it lacked the usual Woody Allen humor and wry perspective that they had gotten used to in his films. Yet that is precisely what Mr. Allen intended - he wanted to explore deep and universal issues in the tradition of idol, Igmar Bergman, without using the self deprecating humor he had become known for. Not only did critics not understand this, but they chided him heavily for it.
So it is with writers and readers (who often play the part of critic). Whenever I approach a book, I try to understand what the author's intent was and judge it accordingly. I may not like the book, even if the author fulfilled the intent perfectly, for "liking" something is so subjective. But I try not to read into it anything the author didn't intend.