It has occurred to me as I am writing on several projects of my own and also as I read "Harvest of Stars" (yes - that again) (H - go ahead and gloat). What I, Poul Anderson or anyone else creates means something to that creator and, if made for public consumption, hopefully will mean something for others.
Will it mean the same thing - not likely. Will it impact someone in both obvious and vague ways, some perhaps not even realized until years down the road - probably. Will it find resonance with everyone - odds are slim. Will it even mean the same thing to its creator as time passes - who knows. One writer (I think poet, Robert Browning, but don't hold me to it) when asked what he meant by some piece of writing said, and I paraphrase, that when he wrote it, he and God knew that answer, now only God does. This has stuck with me for a decade because I agree - people change and times change and perspectives change and you get the idea...
"Harvest of Stars" is one such beast. My best friend, H, (H - meet everyone, everyone - H) has found an immediate and subliminal connection to it. I have not. "Atlas Shrugged" resonates so deeply with me I feel compelled to re-read it every five years or so but H has no such compulsion.
I absolutely love the painting, "The Green Violinist" by Marc Chagall, but my mom who is a fabulous painter (and has painted me my own copy of "Starry Nights") won't make me a copy of this one because she thinks it's jarring and unappealing. Taste - who can account it.
Now, this is not an original muse, I do realize, but one I want to share anyway. The cliche' 'One man's trash is another man's treasure' is so apt. And just because one person or one group or whatever may not appreciate something fully or even at all does not mean it is without value - it is just without value to them.
So, as I speculate on various topics here - they are only my thoughts which may or may not appeal to you - which is as it should be!