Cześć Kasia! :)

Your article reminded me about one time in the past when I studied Polish Literature. We were always taught to say “the poet wrote X” because the popular theoretical approach was that a person enters a role while writing.

This was to make sure we will break free from the habit of thinking of the poet as a person and forbid our attempts at guessing “what the author had in mind”.

We were told to focus only on their actual writing, without bringing his or her biography into the picture. If someone said the name of the author instead referring to them as “the poet” or “the author”, they were immediately corrected by the professors.

I thought back then that this kind of theory is nice for some time in the beginning (to be used as a tool to teach about the value of the written word itself, without trying to second-guess the writer), but in the long run it brings more harm, because it introduces dehumanising tendencies to something so inherently human. We, literature students, were considered by some to be the archetype of a humanist after all, for crying out loud!

It would be weird in fact, if I referred to you as “the author” while writing this response. “The author of this Medium story wrote X.” So weird!

Future dad, 9to5: tech support agent. I write about the User Experience of learning programming.