Edgar Allen Poe is considered one of the greatest poets of his time, but he can also be considered certifiably insane. E.E. Cummings is a widely loved writer, but he never used a capital letter in his life. On the other hand, Ralph Waldo Emerson capitalized random words in the middle of his essay’s sentences that were neither names nor places. So why is it that these men, who have written many works of literature that have commutatively broken hundreds of grammar rules, are considered such great writers? I believe that writing cannot be critiqued; I would even go so far as to say that pieces of writing cannot be corrected.
Writing, be it in the form of essays, novels, or poems, is a highly subjective topic. Authors, of any kind of literature, pour their hearts and their souls into their pieces, and have reasons for doing everything they do. Thusly, it is not up to their readers to correct or critique them, because in doing so they are, in essence, critiquing the writers’ feelings and the writer as a person. Even the writer’s grammar cannot be corrected, for some writers, like Emerson and Cummings, break grammar rules to better their pieces. There are even names for some instances in which grammar rules are broken. There is asyndeton, the deliberate omission of conjunctions, or polysyndeton, the deliberate use of too many conjunctions. In both instances the same grammar rule is broken but in different ways. And yet many authors utilize this technique, to either slow the pace of their pieces or speed them up, or for some other reason unknown but to the writer. And no one corrects them, as well they shouldn’t.
It is in this open-ended way that writing proliferates. If a piece of writing is abstract or vague, it may have a greater effect on a greater number of people than a strict or specific piece. This is because although I, as a writer, can still put out my personal feelings, my readers can also interpret the pieces to their own content. Similarly, I as a reader, may not like a piece, but my mother may love it, and my grandfather may love it for a different reason. A good piece of writing satisfies not the readers, but the writer.
On the other hand, a piece of writing should not be over interpreted for fear of putting words in the writer’s mouth. No one can explain a piece of writing other than the person who wrote it, and sometimes a piece of writing just needs to be taken at face value, to be enjoyed, but not dissected, to be thought about, but not immersed in. The period at the end of a long and cumbersome sentence does not necessarily represent a woman’s menstrual cycle and her suffering during this time. As Sigmund Freud once said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”
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