What if they were all wrong in their analyses, theories, studies, and dissections? Would that mean that we were right along? Yeah, I think so too.
The other day I wrote a story / piece on a dare I made with my friend Dawn Weber. We were to take subjects supplied to us by our readers, choose only one and write about it.
Dawn and I are both humor writers. We may be writers with different styles and motives, but the bottom line is, we want people to laugh at what we write. To laugh at the absurdity we see in life. To laugh in general.
Most of the comments I received on my piece were favorable. I even received one from a psychologist friend of mine who said she was a bit worried with the warning I issued about the piece containing some profanity. She went on to say I pulled it off brilliantly.
Imagine my surprise when another of my friends, in his attempt to tell me his reaction to the piece, began talking about the dichotomies, the continual search inside man for his place, the forces of good and evil, the part dreams play in our lives and how the dogs make clock-wise circles above the equator.
I was lost.
He droned on and on incessantly. With each new revelation I would simply say, “And?”
I thought he might get the hint and tell me he liked it or it sucked.
When he finally completed his analysis of the piece I told him he may be right in some philosophical sense, but I didn’t write it for any of those reasons. I thought it was funny and thought other people might also find it funny.
It was then that it struck me. All those long discussion in all of my literature classes. What if the instructors were wrong? What if the experts who wrote the text books were wrong? What if Shakespeare, Byron, Shelley, Keats, and even Dr. Seuss didn’t mean any of it? What if they just wanted to write?
Charles Shultz’ character Charlie Brown was a poor soul who came to represent his creator’s life. What if Charles Shultz just wanted to entertain? Remove all the physical crap and see he just wanted to draw cartoons and laugh.
What if Shakespeare just wanted material he could use on the stage and all those endless classes of trying to figure out what each sonnet and play meant were wasted?
What if you could sit down and just read a book for the sake of reading the book. No dissecting allowed. No wondering what the bigger picture is. Just words, and paper and enjoyment.
So all those literature classes could have been reading classes. Educational sure, but not struggles. “The house is red”, meant “the house is red” and not that the red house symbolizes the struggle the author was having with Fisheroo Monstero.
I can just imagine some of these writers coming back today telling us we got it all wrong. They just wanted to write and we should stop analyzing.
It seems that there is always someone who wants to prove they know what the deep meaning is that the writer hid in their words. Are they just creating jobs for themselves and trying to drive the rest of us insane? If you didn’t personally know the writer and were told by them that there are deeper meanings in every chapter, paragraph and word, then give it up.
Perhaps the authors aren’t hiding anything. Perhaps their inner souls were called to put words on paper. Nothing more. Nothing less.
That’s me. Don’t look for the deeper meaning in my stories, my writings, my ramblings. To put it succinctly, there ain’t none. It is what it is. Pure and simple entertainment.
My apologies to the wonderful English Literature professors I had in college. Nothing against you, but perhaps you were wrong.
From the life and mind of:
Wanda M. Argersinger
© 2010 All Rights Reserved