Themes and subtexts

Oct 29, 2009 | Opinions

I was reading Nathan Bransford’s post about themes in writing, and it got me thinking as to whether my own writing has themes or overall meaning or whatnot.

Like many young individuals, I was traumatised by the method of teaching English as if it were an autopsy. I’ve disliked much of Shakespeare for years because I was forced to pick apart his words and phrases, and forced to look for meaning and theme and metaphor instead of appreciating the work itself. It’s like trying to cut a Monet painting to pieces in order to understand why it is beautiful.

I’ve always set out to write stories. Theme and hidden meaning are irrelevant if there is no story, no hook to draw in the reader and hold their attention. This is part of the reason I dislike modern art as well; so much of it seems to concentrate on being… highbrow, inscrutable, pretentious even, and it forgets that art needs to connect with people on some emotional level.

So it goes. Maybe my writing does have hidden meaning, but I dread to think about what it is.