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Famous Novelists on Symbolism in Their Work and Whether It Was Intentional

Famous Novelists on Symbolism in Their Work and Whether It Was Intentional
It was 1963, and 16-year-old Bruce McAllister was sick of symbol-hunting in English class. Rather than quarrel with his teacher, he went straight to the source: McAllister mailed a crude, four-question survey to 150 novelists, asking if they intentionally planted symbolism in their work. Seventy-five authors responded. Here’s what 12 of them had to say. (Copies of the survey responses can be found at the Paris Review.) McAllister's Letter “My definition of symbolism as used in this questionnaire is represented by this example: In The Scarlet Letter there are four major characters. Ayn Rand: “This is not a ‘definition,’ it is not true—and therefore, your questions do not make sense.” MacKinlay Kantor: “Nonsense, young man, write your own research paper. Question 1 “Do you consciously, intentionally plan and place symbolism in your writing?... Jack Kerouac: "No." Isaac Asimov: “Consciously? Ray Bradbury: “No, I never consciously place symbolism in my writing. Question 2 Ray Bradbury:

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