I would suggest that once a work of fiction is in the hands of a reader, the author is no longer a factor in defining its meaning.
The meaning, at that point, becomes a product of the unique gestalt formed by the contents of the book and the intellect, experience and psychological and emotional character of each reader.
To interview or posthumously psychoanalyze the author in order to get at THE meaning is a bootless errand. At best, you would gain some insight into what the author intended to convey, overtly or symbolically, to the reader he or she imagined. Dostoevsky did not write The Brothers Karamazov with a 21st Century American reader in mind.
Thus a tipsy discussion of a book's meaning is a perfectly valid exercise because 1.) there is no such thing as THE meaning and 2.) it's fun.
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