"'the real 'meaning' of literature results from the interaction of audience and work'" (Kessey 3).
The only way that I learn what an author's text is assumed to be is through discussion with other people. Our classroom discussion, for instance, helps each other connect ideas that we may be thinking about. The meaning of an author is how we read a piece of literature and interpret it.
We will, once again, never know exactly what an author has intended their literature to mean, but we can come to an understanding based on interaction.
There are different ways to understand a work and Keesey mentions "Author, Reality, Literature, and Audience" (3). These are ways to guide our mind into thinking of different possibilities of a work and then we can collaborate with other people to determine a possible meaning.
On the other hand, what we take from a piece of literature can open many reading possibilities for some people. If we are the "real meaning" of literature then we may read a poem and think of something opposite of what that author may have intended it to mean (we won't completely know what the other meant unless we were to talk to them).
Click here for web page devoted to Keesey.