It’s funny you should mention Tennyson’s poem in the context of an author’s view of publication as I once laid out a detailed interpretation of the poem as a metaphor on the poet’s quest to communicate. I know I wrote a shorter, sweeter essay on that somewhere I can’t find right now but here’s one of my more turgid dilatations where I used the poem as an “epitext” — a connected series of epigraphs — for a discussion of what I called Ostensibly Recursive Texts (ORTs).
Tennyson’s poem The Lady of Shalott is akin to an ORT, but a bit more remote, since the name styled as “The Lady of Shalott”, that the author invokes over the course of the text, is not at first sight the title of a poem, but a title its character adopts and afterwards adapts as the name of a boat. It is only on a deeper reading that this text can be related to or transformed into a proper ORT. Operating on a general principle of interpretation, the reader is entitled to suspect the author is trying to say something about himself, his life, and his work, and that he is likely to be exploiting for this purpose the figure of his ostensible character and the vehicle of his manifest text. If this is an aspect of the author’s intention, whether conscious or unconscious, then the reader has a right to expect several forms of analogy are key to understanding the full intention of the text.