Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Mystery of Intention

One of my favorite author quotes is Samuel Beckett's response to people who asked if the mysterious character of Godot (in his play Waiting for Godot) was meant to be God. Beckett said, "If by Godot I had meant God I would have said God, and not Godot."

Thus he clarified--or did he?--a mysterious character in perhaps the most enigmatic play of the 20th Century.

An author's intention is often the greatest mystery. Some theorists would have us believe that what the author meant is ultimately not important. This works for me, to a point, but I find that I always long for a date with the author, during which I am allowed to ask unlimited questions about their work. I'd like to start with Shakespeare. :)


Picks by Pat said...

Shakespeare? That's easy...he wanted to make some money!

But seriously, it's a fascinating subject.

I'm still trying to figure out what my own intentions are.

Julia Buckley said...

A great point, Pat. Who really knows what we are channeling when we put words on paper? When we tell people the "inspiration" for our books, are we telling the truth? Or do we even know what compels us to write our stories?

Anonymous said...

Did you quote this because our class is reading Waiting For Godot?

P.S. Mrs. Buckley! I did not know you published a novel! Way to go!

Julia Buckley said...

Hi, Kristin!

Waiting for Godot is always in the back of my mind, to be honest with you. As it may well be in yours . . .

I also wrote about my existential Charlie Brown comparison. :)