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A.C. Wise’s “Women to Read” June 2015 edition

SF SignalOver at SF Signal, A.C. Wise has posted the latest in her series of essays on “Women to Read!” — and this month, she focuses on “stories designed to sit uncomfortably, twist against expectations, offer truths that won’t stay put, narratives that can’t be trusted, and characters who refuse to hold their shapes.” Alongside discussions of Siobhan Carroll’s ‘Wendigo Nights,’ Vandana Singh’s ‘Ambiguity Machines: An Examination,’  and Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona, Wise analyses my story ‘A Shot of Salt Water’ (The Dark, May 2015).

And, basically, wow. I am always hesitant to say things like, ‘This reader really gets it!’ or ‘Yep, that’s exactly what I was trying to do!’ because — *takes deep breath* — Roland Barthes has broken my brain and I cannot get past the death of the author and it doesn’t matter what I was trying to do all that matters is what readers get out of the story and hopefully that’s something awesome and memorable and somewhere remotely close to where I was aiming but ultimately the meaning derived from the work is theirs not mine even if that meaning is not at all what I’d intended my intentions have nothing to do with it once the words are out of my brain and on the page and in the world then they belong to the world and not me, et cetera, et cetera…

BUT.

Having said that.

A.C. Wise totally gets it.

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One thought on “A.C. Wise’s “Women to Read” June 2015 edition

  1. I think falling back to authorial intent isn’t so bad, just as long as it’s not the only lens with which we use to study a particular text. I think intentions are just as incommunicable as every other analysis, but we can pretend each one of them is valid in their own way.

    Still, I think the most important kind of authorial intent is how you want your readers to feel, not necessarily what you want them to understand. Signs and signals are wibbly wobbly but feelings are the real deal. That said, your works make me feel that you’re in love with the English language, and that’s not something I see from a lot of writers.

    Just two cents from a fan, haha. I am positively in love with your work, and I hope I can one day be at least half as poetic.

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