I wasn’t entirely sure whether I would finish this in time or not. I’d had a slow end to the week and had let my reading go. Thankfully, it was a pretty quick read and I got the majority of it done on Sunday. I forget that YA novels don’t take as long to read as the books I usually read. Mostly because it doesn’t have that literary fiction desire to complicate things. It did take a bit longer because I was so careful not to ruin the gorgeous stencilled edges of this book. It’s such a beautiful thing and I need it to say as pristine as possible.
In his essay The Death of the Author, Roland Barthes argued that the only way to read a book was to separate it from its author. According to Barthes, authorial context and intent wouldn’t provide insight into the meaning of the text. Instead, it would limit the amount of meaning a reader could take from it. Giving a text an author before you analyse it was nothing more than a convenient and simple way to understand it. For Barthes, the meaning of a book wasn’t dependent on who the author was but on who the reader was. As we can never really be sure of what an author intended, trying to understand a novel based on who they were as a person would always be flawed. The author, thus, becomes not a God but merely a “scriptor”. They aren’t imposing meaning but merely translating putting the meaning on paper for the reader to untangle themselves.