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While Hacking at a Log

I wonder…

What is more important to most readers of literature…

Just the words as they are written?

Or the why the words were written – the author’s motivation?

Or the how the words were written – the author’s background?

When reading a thesis that may influence one’s medical or legal decisions, knowing that the author has the requisite knowledge and training to write with such influencing authority – the why and how of the words – probably should be important.

However, when it comes to literature – does it really matter what schools the author attended, or how well-read an author is?

Or would most readers regard a work of literature by a less-than educated or less-than well-read author similar to someone hacking in mad rage at a log with an ax and when she comes to her senses she discovers that she had, in her blind passion, formed a beautiful wooden sculpture*?

Would she have created art?

Should she then be considered an artist?

I wonder…


 

*This is far from an original thought of mine but unfortunately I cannot find the original quote to give proper credit. If you know, please comment.