The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms - Ross Murfin 2018
Authorial intention: Defined narrowly, an author’s intention in writing a work, as expressed in letters, diaries, interviews, and conversations. Defined more broadly, authorial intention involves unexpressed motivations, designs, and purposes, some of which may also be unconscious. The debate over whether critics should try to discern an author’s intentions (conscious or otherwise) is an old one.
William K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley, early pioneers of the New Criticism, coined the term intentional fallacy to refer to what they viewed as the wrongheaded practice of basing interpretation on a writer’s expressed or implied intentions.