“A solid subset of the class strongly resisted Wimsatt and Beardsley, and held tight to the idea of the meaning of a text deriving from some idea held by the author, but they all got the distinction between the imagined author of a text and the biographical person, and were more than generous in going along with my insistence that because we couldn’t conceivably know what Dave might have meant by something, an appeal to his biography in interpreting his writing wouldn’t help.”

“Couldn’t conceivably know” is a very strong claim and one independent of appeal to biography. I would assign Hirsch’s “Objective Interpretation” or even one of Benn Michaels and Knapp’s pieces in counterpoint with Wimsatt and Beardsley, personally, although I think I recognize the particular type of ingenuous appeal to intentionality you were trying to head off here.