Monday, February 2, 2015

Intentional Fallacy

Intentional fallacy can be interpreted in many different ways and I find that incredibly ironic. To me and how I define it, is when an author writes a piece of work, it's no longer up to the author what the piece means. Wimsatt and Beardsley in their article, "Intentional Fallacy" stated, "The poem is not the critic's own and not the author's. The poem belongs to the public." After the author writes, the definition of that piece is neither up to the author nor the critic but instead the meaning of the piece is up to anyone that reads it.

I'm creative but not in a painting, movie making, sculpting type of way. I became an English major because I wanted to write and enjoy it. I decided to use one of my poems from my creative writing class and have a friend write what they see in my poem and how they would define it. My view of my own poem goes out the window when I let someone read my poem, it now belongs to the public as the article said. Many people believe that the most important view of a piece of work is the author's intentions and that's not the case when it comes to intentional fallacy.

My artwork, the poem that I wrote, personally is about when you're younger around seven or eight and you find that first crush, the first boy you like. I made it to be more of a stereotype, a seven year old girl having a crush and spending the summer with him. When my friend read it, she took it as it's a poem about falling in love. Although she had the same concept, she didn't know my background and thoughts when I was writing it and didn't pick up all the exact details.


  1. Becky I really appreciate how you interpreted the meaning of artwork and how your friend interpreted the meaning of your poem. It really shows the understanding you have of the Intentional Fallacy and how meaning is not reliant on the author's intent, but on the reader's context.

  2. A good idea for a little experiment! As we progress through New Criticism, you will see that there is a third choice besides the idea that the author or the reader make the meaning... Stay tuned!