authorial intent and methodology

> Paul J. Bodin writes:
> >I would in any case urgently disagree with your blanket statement that
> >"any methodology which denies authorial intent is wrong."  There are
> >very important methods of literary investigation that do just that,
> >and raise valid points.  The "intentional fallacy" is a notoriously
> >debated point of critical investigation ...
> Could you supply an example of a methodology which denies authorial intent
> and raises valid points?  There is a difference between denying (that is
> contradicting) authorial intent, and a methodology which is not dependant
> upon authorial intent.  I would consider the latter, but I haven't seen a
> case made for the former.
> David John Marotta, Medical Center Computing, Stacey Hall
> Univ of Virginia (804) 982-3718 wrk INTERNET: djm5g@virginia.edu
> Box 512 Med Cntr (804) 924-5261 msg   BITNET: djm5g@virginia
> C'ville VA 22908 (804) 296-7209 fax   IBM US: usuvarg8

Structuralism?  Deconstructionism?  And, oldest of all, New Criticism? 
Will that do, David?  New Criticism, if I remember correctly, denies the
*concept* of authorial intent.  Deconstructionism, if I understand it
correctly, claims that texts have no meaning, but readers create meaning. 
I think that these fit into your criteria "denies authorial intent and
raises valid points."  Although you might deny the "validity" of the points
they raise, other scholars find them to be exciting methodologies.

I personally do not want to give up on authorial intent, but neither do I
want to deny the social construction of reality and the fact that any
hermeneutic (especially an unconscious one) will have an impact on the
results, which is what I have learned most from the abovementioned methods.

These are the kinds of things one learns about when one gets an advanced
degree in the area.  I would encourage you all who have not already got one
to do so.  :-)

Sterling G. Bjorndahl, bjorndahl@Augustana.AB.CA or bjorndahl@camrose.uucp
Augustana University College, Camrose, Alberta, Canada      (403) 679-1516