There’s been a lot of talk in the last few weeks about Dumbledore, and the fact that JK Rowling said he was gay. Nearly all of the Christian response that I’ve read (though not all) has been to say that the author’s intent doesn’t have the weight that it needs to make such a pronouncement on its own. The text belongs to the audience, or to itself, and the author no longer has control over it. Or so goes the argument. This way, we can disregard what she said as irrelevant to the text itself.
I’m uncomfortable saying that the author no longer has any say in the interpretation of a text once it’s published. If the author meant something in the text, then doesn’t it mean that, on at least some level?
On another note, how does this standpoint affect Biblical interpretation? Does this mean that the disciples could have disregarded any teachings of Jesus on the Old Testament that didn’t appear in the New?