We are co-authors of what we read

The writer is an author creating the flow and rhythm of speech. Any time we translate a manuscript from one language to another, however, we reinvent it. We create it again, and when we read the written word we must translate the meaning, and in doing that, we reinvent it, recreate it, and give it form. We can’t help but be the co-authors of everything we read, everything we understand, and everything we perceive.

4 thoughts on “We are co-authors of what we read

  1. Exactly. I considered training as a translator at one time. When I was experimenting with translating texts I noticed that I was translating in a very literal fashion (as an autistic person, this didn’t surprise me.) I decided that if I was merely reproducing the letter and not the spirit of the text reliably, then I shouldn’t do it.

  2. I quite like this notion. It both struck me by surprise and led me to say, “…but of course!” We not only interpret that which we read, but the only ideas expressed in the content that in some way match what we already possess in our own thoughts are generally obtainable. How such would provide new information for us is determined by subtle factors appended to those matching ideas in the writing. And so it is why those giving parables have often said: “For those who have ears.” So an effective piece of writing simply wakes us up to something we’re already putting together in our head.

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