The CuriousPages Sketchbook

Is it useful for the writer to give his own full analysis of his work?

Rhyan (my partner) read Irresistible Temptation and we discussed it afterwards. Initially, he said that he did not understand the significance of the garden, nor that of the school exam. Though a Filipino, Rhyan is an English Literature graduate and is well read, so this makes me wonder what the average reader’s experience of this story might be (or, indeed, of any of my other stories). In literature, there is, quite rightly, an emphasis on subtlety. The content that is not stated but is merely hinted at, and which the reader much therefore work out, or “create” for himself, does have a much bigger impact in the reader’s mind than any content that is directly stated—in general. It is this technique that adds to the sense of quality that is present in good writing. When a work only yields up its full content after the reader has put some effort into analysing the work himself, then that effort that the reader must undertake in his own mind, invests the work with a greater feel of depth and quality—in that reader’s own mind. This is how I see it, anyway. So, the use of this sort of subtly is desirable, for many reasons; it does also make a story more satisfying to write, as well. The downside, though, is that the writer is placing into his work a great deal of content that may remain invisible to many readers (and by the same measure, some readers will see content in the story which the writer did not intend;  it has been invented by the reader’s effort alone, so this situation does also have an up side).

Because of this situation, I feel that it would be worthwhile me giving my own full analysis of my works. If for no other reason, then reader’s can always compare their own interpretation with mine after they have read the story (that is, with readers who do enjoy doing all their own thinking when they are reading a piece of literature), and for readers who are not used to literary techniques, and are therefore unaware of how they should be going about decoding such techniques to uncover all the hidden content in a story, such readers may find it interesting to read my own analysis.

Incidentally, many films these days also use these same literary techniques, so once you are used to them, they will also greatly enhance your enjoyment of popular films, and even of many TV dramas and sitcoms, since the better quality ones also use these same techniques to enhance the quality of their material.


Read my analysis of the story.

Writing: Irresistible Temptation (my thoughts on the story's worth immediately after completing it, and before discussing it with Rhyan)

Read the full story here.


15 February 2010



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