The idea that our work doesn't speak for itself was a new concept for me. In the last couple of years, I have had professors who were advocates of close reading. While close reading, one does not read or worry about anything beside the text. I had a professor who told us not to read footnotes. I never really 100% agreed with the idea of close reading. I feel like sometimes we need to know a little bit of background on the author or the time period to really get a piece.
So, I totally get what Kleon is saying!
There is a story behind everything. Every piece or art, every poem. Check out this painting that I saw in a coffee shop in downtown Greenville.
(Also, if we want to go further: everything is art. My outfit, a stack of books, etc.)
This is a picture of the first page of a short story that I wrote last year. There is a story behind it: I lived in Boston a few summers ago on Commonwealth Avenue. I had this dream where I was watching two people run down Commonwealth Avenue, which is essentially the story. The story is not about the characters or even the plot, it is instead about the concept of time.
If you would like to read more, let me know. I would love that!