Monday, August 10, 2009

Interpreting the Theme

I received a query from a poet the other day asking me if two of her poems fit what I was looking for for the October issue's theme, "Masks or Appearances can be Deceiving." The answer is a double-edged sword. What I am looking for is a wide variety of interpretations of the theme. Yet, when I choose the stories for an issue one of the things that I look for is how well I think the interpretation fits the theme.

That would suggest that I have something in mind for an issue, but really I don't. When I evaluated the stories for "Follow the Butterflies" I asked two questions: 1. Are there butterflies? and 2. Is there following? In some cases there were literal butterflies, in some cases there were metaphorical butterflies in the stomach. Either interpretation worked for me. As for following, there are different definitions of following and if one of them fit the action of the story, then it worked for me.

So, "masks or appearances can be deceiving", they can be real masks or figurative masks. It can be the appearance of a person, place, or thing that is deceptive. However the writer or poet intreprets that theme works for me. I am looking for a wide variety of interpretations. But, if I don't see how the story or poem fits the theme, then I will evaluate it lower than others that I do see fit the theme.

The different interpretations of a theme and the difference in the stories that people come up with fascinates me. I'm not looking for a specific interpretation of the theme, but a variety of interpretations.

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