Sometimes a Donkey is Just a Donkey – Symbolismistically, That is!

I saw a quote on tumblr this morning that got me thinking of the bullshit-meter-messer-upper that is S-Y-M-B-O-L-I-S-M. As a writer, I love to hear what symbolism is found in the pages of my own work. But I have to be honest with you, unless it is pointed out to me…I don’t see it.

I don’t insert-symbolism-here. I just write my story. Honestly. I’m not deep enough to inject symbolism. I am of the belief that symbolism, like shit, just happens.

Here’s the post from Tumblr that I’m talking about.

(Now, before you get your string in a knot–please note: I am not dissing English Teachers. I think everybody should have one.)

I have often been rendered slack-jawed when listening to people emote the symbolism found in some of the books I’ve read. The truth is, unless we hear it from the horse’s (in this case, the author) mouth, anything we ourselves come up with is simply conjecture. I would love for some people to get off their literary high horse and just accept the words on paper. Discussing the symbolism in a book is a great way to kill the book for others. Sometimes people just DON’T LIKE chicken soup. As readers and interpreters of the written word, we should just accept that shit.

NOTE: I believe the quoted text originated HERE (though it is sometimes hard to pinpoint the original source on Tumblr)

By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.


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