September 10, 2012

What is an author? Foucault

In Michel Foucault’s What is an Author?, he breaks down what he feels an author really is. This subject was claimed dead by Barthes in one of our previous readings, but in Faucault’s writing the author is still alive and claims a much larger stake in the writing than I originally thought it did. The author claims a lot more than just being a the originator of the work or facilitator of the work presented but it causes problems with the writing. In the article Foucault wrote “our culture has metamorphosed this idea of narrative, or writing, as something designed to ward off death. Writing has become linked to voluntary effacement which does not need to be represented in books, since it is brought about in the writer’s very existence” (905). Then he wrote, “Even when anindividual has been accepted as an author, we must still ask whether everything that he wrote, said, or left behind is part of his work” (905). With this statements being said it is interesting to think that the question “What difference does it make that is speaking?” plays an even more interesting role in this article and the subject of the writer than I originally thought.

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