How you mean, "Wrong"?

The conventional wisdom is that when someone claims a reading of a piece of literature is wrong what is meant is that it goes against the claimants own reading. The reading isn't wrong per se; it's just a case of clashing theories. Really though, it's remarkable how much room there is for competing theories when it comes to what a text means--they aren't really competing at all. Instead, it's like a utopia for theories. They are all safe from everything save the fickleness of fashion.

Terry Eagleton, in his book Literary Theory, responds to the complaint that theories get in the way of reading, creating a barricade between the readers and the text, by pointing out the all readings are based on some theory, though it may perhaps be implicit.

But there are people out there who have never been trained to apply Freudian psychoanalysis to a text, or feminist theories, or poststructuralism, or new historicism. Granted, the number of readers who have only passing awareness of these theories but who nonetheless have the education and comprehension to appreciate great works of literature is somewhat smaller than the audience for Tom Clancy or Nicolas Sparks books. But I believe they're out there--primarily because, until recently I was one of them. (Though I had applied Freud's theories to stories before, I gladly fell out of the habit.)

I propose as a definition for a wrong theory of literature, or a wrong reading of a particular work, the following: the reading provided by a theory is wrong if no one not conversant with the theory would experience the work, at any level of consciousness, in the way spelled out by the critic suggesting that reading. And a literary theory is wrong if the readings it inspires are wrong.